Buffs Add Hall of Famer to Staff
BOULDER—One of the greatest Colorado soccer players to don the Black and Gold will be returning to the sidelines at Prentup Field this season. 2021 Colorado Athletics Hall of Famer inductee Nikki (Marshall) Malone has joined head coach Danny Sanchez's staff as a volunteer assistant for the 2022 season.
It will be Malone's second stint on Sanchez's coaching team. She was a volunteer assistant for the Buffaloes in 2016.
In her first season as a volunteer assistant in 2016, she helped CU to one of its best seasons ever. The Buffs tied the school record for wins in a season, going 15-6-1 overall and 8-2-1 in the Pac-12 for a second-place finish in the conference. It was the best single-season turnaround in Pac-12 history as CU went from 12th place in 2015 to second in 2016. The Buffs also reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finished the season ranked No. 23, the first time they have been ranked in the final poll since 2008.
Malone played four seasons at Colorado (2006-09), amassing 42 goals and nine assists for 93 points. She continues to hold the school record for goals and was supplanted by Taylor Kornieck in 2019 as the Buffs' all-time points leader. Malone still holds school records in game-winning goals (18) and goals per game (0.49). She's currently second in shots attempted (261), fourth in shots per game (3.07), and shots on goal (116) and fifth in shots on goal per game (1.36).
She was a first-team Freshman All-American in 2006 and was a four-time first-team All-Big 12 performer. Malone led the Buffaloes to one of the best four-year periods in school history as CU amassed a 47-29-12 record during her four seasons. As a freshman in 2006, she led the Buffs to the third round of the NCAA Tournament with school records of 17 goals and 37 points, including seven game-winners. She also led the Buffs to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007 and 2008.
Malone graduated from CU in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in sociology.
Following her time at CU, she achieved a five-year professional playing career. Malone was the seventh overall draft selection in the Women's Professional Soccer league in 2010 by the Washington Freedom. She started all 24 matches in 2010 and had three goals as a defender. After the team relocated to Florida and she made eight appearances in 2011, before being traded to the Boston Breakers midseason.
In 2013, she signed with Portland Thorns FC for the inaugural season of the National Women's Soccer League and started all 22 matches, leading the team to a league championship. She led Thorns FC to a semifinals appearance in 2014 after starting all 24 matches. She suffered a torn ACL in August 2014 and retired in February 2015.
Marshall also saw action for the United States in international competition for the U-20 team in 2007 and 2008, and the U-23 team in 2009. She was one of two members of the 2008 squad to play every minute of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, leading the U.S. to a championship. In 2014, she made an appearance on the senior USWNT squad for a friendly against Canada.