Maya Santa-Maria is one cool operator, even when balls are being fired at her so fast that most people can’t even track them. The Huntington High School senior is so good that the University of Michigan came calling. The Blue Devil star has signed an NCAA Division I letter of intent to play goalie for the Ann Arbor school’s lacrosse team.
Ms. Santa-Maria is the latest in a long line of exceptional Huntington goaltenders. One of her predecessors, Taylor Moreno is currently the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s All-American goalie.
The teenager recorded 116 saves last spring, compiling a 53 percent save percentage. Ms. Santa-Maria garnered All-County honors. She has also been a starter on the Blue Devil varsity field hockey team.
The Huntington senior considered Northwestern University, Lehigh University, University of Connecticut, Marquette University and the University of Arizona, but in the end, Michigan won her over.
“Michigan has everything a student athlete could want from rigorous academics to a top 10 athletic program,” Ms. Santa-Maria said.
The teenager has a larger than life personality and presence, especially in the athletic arena. When she is nearby, you know it. She has even tried her hand at coaching, working with younger players who take an instant liking to her.
An academic honor roll student, Ms. Santa-Maria hasn’t settled on what her focus will be in the classroom at Michigan. “I’m going into freshman year undecided, but I want to do something in the science field,” she said. Her favorite high school subjects have been chemistry and US history.
The University of Michigan is one of the top public research universities in the country. It enrolls more than 46,000 students on the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Wolverines’ women’s lacrosse team finished with a 16-4 record last spring. The program competes in the fabled Big Ten Conference.
Asked to give advice to an incoming Huntington freshman and Ms. Santa-Maria reaches back to her own experience. “Don’t wish high school away,” she said. “Don’t wish you were older. High school covers some of the best years of your life and when you’re a senior, you’re going to wish you could be a freshman again and do it all over.”
While she still has many more months and lots more fun to go before she graduates next June, Ms. Santa-Maria knows that a big change is coming in her life, but she is very content.
“I feel like these past four years have shaped me into the person I am and without Huntington, I would not be where I am today,” she said. “I will always remember all the amazing people that helped me get to where I am today and the amazing friends I’ve made along the way.”