Northern Arizona is really Lyken this freshman from Anchorage

August 19, 2016

Malia Lyken

Malia Lyken

Only a freshman, Malia Lyken of Anchorage carries herself with confidence on the soccer field.

You can’t help but notice. It didn’t take long for her teammate at Northern Arizona University to figure it out either.

The reigning Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year scored a goal in her college debut after she converted a penalty kick in the 84th minute of a 4-1 loss to Utah Valley in NCAA D1 action.

“Getting my first goal and the first season goal felt awesome,” she told me.

Lyken, of Dimond High fame, is coming off a 25-goal senior season.

She didn’t know she would take the PK until after her NAU teammates picked her for the shot. They told her to go for it.

Lyken buried a low line drive to the right side of the net, outsmarting the keeper who guessed left.

The goal validated that she could play at the D1 level.

“To me, this means that I know I score at the highest level and it makes me want to score more goal this season,” she said. “With penalty kicks, you have to focus, relax and know where you are going to place it before you set the ball on the PK line.”