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Nogueira relishes the ride

Senior, who will play soccer at Stanford, has been star for Marina athletics in her high school career.

June 04, 2009|By Matt Szabo

Mariah Nogueira could talk about her accomplishments on the soccer field or the softball diamond for hours, but that’s not necessary.

Her sparkling four-year varsity résumé in both sports speaks for itself. Nogueira was recently named Female Athlete of the Year by the Orange County Athletic Directors Assn.

On Monday night, she was named Marina High’s Female Athlete of the Year for the second straight year at the Larry Doyle Hall of Fame Awards.

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These two nights were just part of a busy social calendar as Nogueira’s senior year comes to a close. There’s the Vikings’ softball banquet Friday, and Nogueira has also earned the Odin Award for Marina student of the year.

And, oh yeah, Nogueira was Marina’s prom queen last weekend.

“It was exciting,” Nogueira said. “I’m not the kind of girl who grew up trying to be prom queen.”

Nogueira is going to Stanford on a soccer scholarship but, save an all-star softball game, her high school sports days are done. At this moment, she’s trying to be the school champion at “Ninja” instead.

It’s a hand-slapping game sweeping the nation, or at least the Marina High campus. And Nogueira is darn good at it.

“I’m usually one of the only girls that plays, but I love beating the boys,” said Nogueira, who played against them for years growing up in Fountain Valley Youth Baseball. “That’s like my favorite thing to do ... [Ninja] is so complicated to explain. You stand in a circle, and the goal is to slap someone’s hand. You only have one move to do it. Wherever your arm ends up, that’s where you have to stay until it’s your turn. It’s hilarious. I love it.”

It’s the competition that Nogueira craves. It’s no different from when Nogueira, who has played club soccer for Slammers FC and been involved with the U.S. youth national program, is roaming the pitch from her center midfielder spot. This year, the Sunset League girls’ soccer MVP helped the Vikings into the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs against El Toro. Nogueira scored a game-tying goal in the final seconds of regulation for Coach Mike Greco’s squad.

But nothing Nogueira does would surprise. Ask longtime Marina softball coach Shelly Luth, and Nogueira may be the closest thing to a perfect teammate there is.

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