Hampton’s Logan Nicklas relishes goal scorer’s role, commits to Gannon
Thursday, November 14, 2019 | 5:20 PM
Scoring in soccer is often at a premium, so a natural goal scorer is among the most valuable of finds.
For the last four years, that’s what Logan Nicklas has been to Hampton soccer, and the program’s success is a reflection of her performance.
Nicklas leaves the program as one of its better players in recent memory. She was a four-year varsity starter and the team’s leading goal scorer each of those years. She is a three-time All-Section and two-time All-WPIAL selection with 60 career goals and 25 career assists.
Now she’s committing to Gannon, where hopefully similar early career success awaits.
“As a freshman coming in, I wanted to play varsity and start and just make an impact,” she said. “I feel like I achieved that.”
While she admits being a little scared playing with all the upperclassmen, the forward let her talents take over and she grew up in a hurry.
“Once I got used to playing around them, it kind of just, I just started scoring,” Nicklas said. “I wanted to keep topping that every year. The goal was to get at least 50, and I got 60, so I’m really happy with that.”
Nicklas has been dealing with pressure of being the go-to player for goals each year. She’s handled it well.
“She’s a goal scorer,” coach Bill Paholich said. “Goal scorers are tough to come by. We haven’t really had them before Logan in a while. We’ve had girls that could score 10 or 12, but nobody that could put in as many as she has the last few years.”
Early in her high school career, Nicklas heavily leaned toward a potential commitment to Case Western and was also recruited by Lehigh.
The idea of Gannon came about last winter, when coach Colin Petersen came to one of her individual development sessions. She liked how he set up the drills. She attended a few games and went on an official visit to the campus.
“It was small, so you can have a better interaction with your teachers and walk wherever you want to go,” said Nicklas, an aspiring engineering major. “It has both the soccer aspect and engineering. It’s kind of just a perfect fit.”
Gannon has been a successful program under Petersen’s watch. They have produced a .500 record or better during nine of the last 10 seasons. The Lady Knights have also qualified for the postseason nine times during their 10 years in the PSAC, including the last seven years. In 2017, the team spent four weeks at No. 1 in the country.
Nicklas was positioned on the wing when she was younger. She eventually switched to forward before high school, and the rest is history.
“It just came naturally to me somehow,” she said. “I could find open space. Having different attributes like being able to use both my legs and move the ball, connect with people in the midfield, it kind of just happened.”
She formed a close bond with her classmates playing travel and club soccer since age 5, as well as the class above her. It was the primary driver in the program’s success the four years this group was around, reaching its pinnacle with a state playoff berth last season.
“It was a tight-knit group and we bonded really well,” Nicklas said. “It just showed on the field. … I feel like we left off on a good note, our legacy the last four years. Something the underclassmen and future generations can look up to, do better than us and make it to Highmark.”