Athlete Spotlight - Maya Naimoli
"I kind of feel fierce wearing it."
Maya says: "I love playing soccer and I've had a ball at my feet ever since I could walk. I've never had a concussion and don't want to get one because I know it could sideline me from playing the game I love. As a goalkeeper, there are several ways I can get hurt and I want to do all that I can to stay safe as I continue to learn, gain more experience and hopefully get better and better. I intend to play in college, hopefully at either Penn State or Georgetown.
The Halo is perfect for me. I wear the Halo 3 and really like how it fits and feels. It's not big and bulky like other headgear and besides protecting my head, it keeps hair and sweat out of my eyes. When I first started using it, I quickly forgot I had it on. Besides stopping shots with my body and hitting the ground, I've hit the post and had some serious collisions with other players, but the Halo has definitely done its job. I kind of feel fierce wearing it. I can play a lot tougher. I feel like I can play my position like it's supposed to be played with less risk of getting hurt. It's great. My family thinks it gives me an advantage, boosts my confidence knowing I have this added protection. If I ever forget to put it on, my teammates remind me because they're so used to seeing me wear it and I think they know how competitive I am with it on."
Maya's mom, Mary Kay:
"There's nothing like watching your daughter excel in something that she's so passionate about. It's important to us that Maya wear the Halo and she does because she recognizes the benefit through her own experiences on the field. She loves it and swears by it as an essential part of her equipment. It helps her focus on doing what she loves with less fear. Fear can lead to hesitation which can lead to injury. Playing with confidence enables Maya to rely on her training and concentrate on her technique, which makes her a better player and keeps her safer. My husband, Mike, and I are excited for her and her future prospects. She plays for an outstanding team that she loves and she has already caught the eye of the regional ODP coaches. We hope that she continues to enjoy herself as she's determined to play in college. Hopefully with good grades, great training and Unequal protecting her along the way, she will.
We know that the Halo won't prevent all head injuries any more than shin guards will prevent all leg injuries. It will reduce her risk, however, and given the prevalence of concussions in girls' soccer, it only makes sense for players to wear one."
We heard about Maya from her mom who reached out to us to express her enthusiasm for the Unequal Halo and her gratitude for the peace of mind it provides. She noticed it made a difference in Maya's play.
|CLUB:||Philadelphia Soccer Club|
|TEAM:||Coppa Swarm 04 Girls|
|RANK:||#1 in Pennsylvania|
#7 in Region I
#23 in Nation
|ACCOMPLISHMENTS:||Eastern PA ODP - Goalkeeper, 2015-2016|
Region I ODP Pool of Players - Goalkeeper, 2016
Eastern PA ODP - Goalkeeper, 2016-2017
Invited to U.S. Soccer Training Center, April 2017
It’s all about timing! Maya in May 2015, first day wearing Unequal “Swirl” Halo 1 as a goalkeeper for FC Europa Elite Girl’s 2004 Team, took a cleat to the head when diving for a ball. She was OK!
She has studied the position in one-on-one training since she was 9.