Nicolas Notaro is a rookie when it comes to college athletics.
However, as he and the NYU men’s soccer team continue to pick up wins, Notaro, a freshman, looks right at home.
This week, Notaro was recognized as The Disney Soccer/National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III Men’s Player of the Week. He was also named Eastern College Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
“It’s great to have been able to contribute to the success of the squad so far, and having an award to show for it is nice,” Notaro said. “But what matters at the end of the day is that the team wins games.”
These titles are quite the feat for a freshman. The District of Columbia native has been lighting up scoreboards this season and has helped the Violets storm out to an undefeated start.
Notaro has already scored five goals and accumulated 10 total points. This week, Notaro shined brightest. He racked up 2 goals and an assist against the City College of New York on Sept. 10, then followed up against St. John Fisher College on Sept. 13 with another goal and assist.
It is not very often a freshman becomes such an important piece of a team’s puzzle so quickly, but Notaro’s teammates insist he fits right in.
“Nick has really been having a great first few weeks, and honestly no one is surprised,” freshman goalie Santiago Irigoyen said. “We knew he was going to make a difference right from the start.”
Usually, it is the upperclassmen who are seen as role models by the younger players, but Notaro’s stellar play has definitely had an effect on the Violets’ tenured players as well.
“More impressive than Nick’s excellent skill and technical ability is his work-rate and attitude on and off the field,” sophomore forward Bryan Walsh said.
Senior midfielder Mickey Ingerman echoed Walsh’s sentiments and commended the other rookies on the team.
“Nick has really impressed me with his tactical awareness and his ability to hold the ball up,” Ingerman said. “Nick and the other freshmen have really given this program a lot of hope for the future. The upperclassmen see their potential, and understand that with them, we can be a competitive team this season.”
Notaro’s quality, combined with the consistent play of freshmen and upperclassmen alike, has made the Violets a force to be reckoned thus far. Going forward, watch for Notaro and his teammates to continue to improve as they move toward conference play.
“We all have our sights on our first UAA game and we know that we can surprise some people this season as the underdogs going into it,” Notaro said. “The key will be to take it game by game, we can compete with anyone out there.
“I’d love to experience the NCAA tournament, but for now our focus will be on winning our next game and nothing more,” Notaro added.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 18 print edition. Email Michael Thompson at [email protected]