Ethan Nichols

McFarland High School senior Ethan Nichols, left, poses with boys soccer head coach Brett Ogorzalek after signing a letter of intent to play men's college soccer at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri.

Ethan Nichols will be heading to Missouri to continue his soccer career after he graduates next year from McFarland High School.

The 5-foot-11, 160-pound forward has signed a letter of intent to play men’s college soccer at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, just northeast of Kansas City.

Nichols was one of the lightning rods that carried the McFarland boys soccer offense for four years. He scored 19 goals in the 2019 campaign, including three in the WIAA Division 3 state tournament earlier this month.

The Spartans won the state semifinal game 7-2 over Rice Lake but lost 2-1 to Shorewood in the title match. In 2018, Nichols had a team-leading 21 goals as McFarland reached the state tournament and defeated Plymouth in the semifinal game but fell in the final to Milwaukee Pius.

Nichols’ offensive skills should come in handy for the NCAA Division 2 William Jewell men’s soccer squad, which scored only nine goals in 2019 while allowing 51 to finish with an overall record of 1-14-2 under first-year coach Ed Horn. The Cardinals had 9.4 shots on goal per game, less than half the number the team allowed.

William Jewell College plays in the Great Lakes Valley Conference that includes schools from Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky.

Nichols is the third McFarland athlete to sign on for athletics at a Missouri college since 2018.

Softball player Mia Hoveland is currently a pitcher on the University of Missouri-Kansas City roster, and girls swimmer Alex Moderski is beginning her freshman year on the University of Missouri women’s swimming team.

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