Cougar of the Week: Maya Mashkuri

Eric Keller, Scarlet Staff

Maya Mashkuri (’20) plays center midfield on the Women’s Soccer Team. She loves the sport, but what she values even more is those who she plays it with.


Scarlet: Not a very original question, but I’m going to start with it anyways — how did you end up at Clark?

Maya: It was sort of last minute, Clark hadn’t been on my radar. My high school soccer coach recommended it to me. She knew that I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school and play soccer. The fact that Clark was a DIII [NCAA Division III] school was also important. I had originally considered DII, but it was too competitive. I eventually got in touch with [Head Coach] Brie [Smith] who helped to recruit me and gave me a lot of information on the school. She played at Clark as undergrad. 


Scarlet: What’s your favorite part about Soccer?

Maya: I really love being part of the team. If I’m being honest, I don’t think there’s anything in particular that draws me to soccer. But when you play a sport with a group of people, it’s suddenly different. The twenty of us [on the team] spend like, well, twenty hours a week together working towards a common goal, so pretty quickly you become friends. And even once the season is over, you’ve still got this great group of people that you get to be around. So, that’s my favorite part about playing soccer.


Scarlet: And tell me, how is the season going?

Maya: Overall the season has gone really well. We started off strong, which I think was quite impressive because we had so many new players. Although then we kind of had this losing streak for a while. But we just won our most recent game against Coast Guard Academy so I’m optimistic about the rest of the season.


Scarlet: I hear you travelled to Dubai, before you came to Clark. What was that like?

Maya: Well I did spend a few days in Dubai, which was really cool – the skyline, Burj Khalifa [the world’s tallest manmade structure] is amazing. But I really spent most of my time, several weeks, travelling in Nepal. I had never really been abroad before, so in high school, I was able to incorporate going to a country as part of my curriculum. Going there helped push me out of my comfort zone. Also, I learned to appreciate hiking a lot more, [Nepal is] definitely the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.


Scarlet: So it’s your sophomore year, do you know what you’re going to study?

Maya: I think my major is going to be geography. And I’d like to do the track in GIS [Geographic Information Science] but I haven’t even taken the intro course yet, so we’ll see. Also, I’ve looked at a minor in biology and a concentration in public health, but on that, I’m more undecided.