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Sticky note dreams: Lobo goalkeeper earns all-state athlete title

New Year’s resolutions are renowned for their short time span and limited results.

However, for people who are willing to dedicate themselves, these hopes and dreams can turn into realities.

Lehman High senior Maya Erwin is one of these people.

In the winter before her freshman season, Erwin was named the starting goalkeeper for Lehman High’s varsity girls soccer team. She then decided it would be cool if she set a New Year’s resolution for her new endeavor.

It was at that point she stuck a sticky note to her bedroom mirror that read, “Be the best goalkeeper in the state of Texas.” 

That dream came true last week when Erwin was named as a second team selection to the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches (TASCA) 6A soccer All-State team, becoming the first Lobo girls soccer player to receive the honor.

Lobo goalkeeper Maya Erwin has been named was named as a second-team All-State selection. (photo by Moses Leos III)

For Erwin, her success was forged early on when she was introduced to the beautiful game. 

Growing up, basketball was Erwin’s sport of choice. In fact, it wasn’t until her dad, Warren Erwin, who is a huge soccer fan, encouraged her to try the new sport. From there, Erwin fell in love with soccer.

In her first few years, Erwin said she basically played every position, except goalkeeper.

Then, in her eighth-grade season, Erwin was volunteered by her coach to play goalkeeper after the starter was injured. Erwin never changed positions after that.

A person that also fell in love with Erwin at her new position was Nauri Garcia, Lehman head girls soccer coach.

Garcia saw Erwin playing as an eighth grader and said he immediately noticed her natural cat-like reflexes. 

“I knew I found my starter for the next four years,” Garcia said.

It was Erwin’s work ethic that made an impression with Garcia. He said she was a “dream come true” kind of athlete who strived to improve.

“I meet outstanding athletes all the time,” Garcia said. “What separates Maya is that no matter how good she’s playing, or how much she’s being recognized for her accomplishments, she still wants more and will continue to work for not just her own goals, but to better the team every day.”

Erwin’s relentless hard work did not go unnoticed.

In her freshman season, Erwin won newcomer of the year for the 4A district Lehman competed in.

Maya Erwin

Lehman High goalkeeper Maya Erwin rifles a kick downfield during the Lobos’ 2016 alumni game. (Hays Free Press file photo)

During her sophomore year, when Lehman jumped to 6A, Erwin also made the leap from newcomer of the year to goalkeeper of the year.

What made the goalkeeper award so unique was that coaches in 14-6A created the award for Erwin, based on her play on the field.

Even after back-to-back years of improvement, Erwin had self-doubt on whether or not she would ever be able to achieve her New Years’ goal.

“After my sophomore year I thought to myself, ‘Ah it’s not gonna happen, there are so many good goalkeepers in Texas’,” said Erwin. 

Nevertheless, Erwin continued working hard, and in her junior campaign, helped the Lobos to a third place finish and a playoff berth, which garnered 14-6A most valuable player honors.

Even still, Erwin was not satisfied with simply being the best player in her district. She wanted to achieve her goal as being the best goalkeeper in Texas.

A change in district and working with a younger team didn’t stop Erwin from generating 25-6A MVP honors this season. 

“I didn’t even think I would win MVP this year,” said Erwin. “Throughout the season my drive was for my teammates. Just having fun with them for those last couple games.”

As a result of her play this season, Erwin accomplished her goal by being named second team All-State. 

“That’s quite an honor,” Erwin said. “It was an amazing feeling. I set a goal for myself, worked hard and I was actually able to achieve it. That’s one of the best feelings of my high school career.”

Garcia said that what makes Erwin so special is her “attitude of gratitude.”  

“She’s very grateful for what she has … Very respectful person. Very positive family that she comes from. She just has a great moral fiber.  She works hard, she humbles herself and most importantly she never stops working hard. If I had 11 Mayas, Lehman would be state champs.” Nauri Garcia, Lobo coach

While generating accolades looks “good on a resume,” Erwin said her priority has always been her teammates. 

“Even when we had a down season, as a goal keeper you can’t stop saving goals,” Erwin said. “You can’t stop putting in the work because you have 10 other people that are depending on you, as well as you on them.” 

Erwin’s hard work doesn’t stop when the scoreboard hits zero.

 Erwin garnered academic all-district honors all four years in high school. She was also recognized to the academic all-state team this season. 

Garcia names three senior captains every year. Erwin was a rare exception because she was a captain for both her junior and senior seasons. 

“You want a goalkeeper like Maya to be a captain for you,” said Garcia. “She’s in the back, she sees everything. She’s gonna tell you what you need to know on the field, but she’s also the type of person to tell you what you need to do to be better off the field as well.”

But self-doubts about competing at the next level led Erwin to get off to a late start in the recruiting process. 

Her parents inspired her to take on a new challenge, and once again Erwin responded. 

Erwin will attend Austin College in Sherman to continue her soccer career and join the prestigious pre-medical program at Austin. 

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