Niccole Salm grew up in a baseball family. She started playing T-ball when she was 5 years old.
So it was a surprise to the family when she switched to soccer at 8.
“I grew up with three brothers, so when I decided to play soccer with girls, it was like I had this new family of sisters,” Salm said. “I loved soccer right away. I love the teamwork and the fast pace.”
Salm doesn’t plan on quitting the sport any time soon. The Merced High School senior, a center-midfielder, signed a national letter of intent to play at UC Merced on Monday night at Merced High in front of a large gathering of friends and family.
“It’s awesome,” Salm said. “I’ve wanted this for so long. All day I kept thinking about this. It was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Is tonight ever going to come?’”
Salm becomes the third player to sign with UC Merced during this signing period. She joins forwards Tiffany Souza of San Joaquin Delta College and Taylor Ehresman of Buchanan in Clovis.
“Niccole brings more depth to our program,” said Bobcats coach Megan Atoigue. “She’s solid technically and tactically. She understands the game well and can play multiple positions.”
Salm attended a soccer came at UC Merced last year and quickly fell in love with the campus, coaches and players.
“It’s perfect for me,” Salm said. “Once I made up my mind I was going to UC Merced, it was a big stress relief off my shoulders. Now I’m just excited. I love that my teammates, friends and family will be able to come watch me play.”
Sun-Star staff writer Shawn Jansen can be reached at (209) 385-2462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.