Standout freshman and LS student Maxi Rodriguez has had no problem transitioning from the beach, relaxed West Coast to New York’s bustling concrete jungle. Rodriguez grew up in both Tijuana and San Diego, subsequently learning to interact with people from all walks of life. Rodriguez was drawn to NYU by the diverse and lively environment that he feels parallels his experiences growing up.
“Being in New York has been everything I dreamed of and more,” Rodriguez said. “Although the city is huge, you can still feel NYU’s tight-knit community, which has helped tremendously in adjusting to this new place. Everyday I am reminded that this school is unlike any other — NYU has so much more to offer besides great academics.”
However, academics are something that Rodriguez takes very seriously. As a student in the LS program, Rodriguez plans to attend law school post graduation. So far, Rodriguez has been juggling soccer and his studies with limited stress.
“Being disciplined about managing your time is crucial for any student athlete,” Rodriguez said. “When I play soccer, I want to focus on my game and the team, not on an impending homework load.”
His tenacious drive to always work hard translates onto the field. Rodriguez has always had an offensive mindset, and although he is normally found in the center midfield, Rodriguez is comfortable in any attacking position. Confident in his footwork, he favors one-versus-one scenarios, especially when put on the outside.
It is no surprise that Rodriguez already has three goals under his belt, having finished these opportunities by tracking his teammates’ shots and committing everything to getting his foot on the ball. Rodriguez’s exceptional performances has undoubtedly contributed to the men’s undefeated record.
Stern junior Ricardo Mitrano and CAS senior Tristan Medios-Simon, team captains, have nothing but praise for the young player.
“His ability to find the net and combine with his teammates has been a great asset during games,” Mitrano said. “Maxi is a passionate player who loves to attack with the ball,” Medios-Simon said. “I know his future at NYU will be bright.”
One of Rodriguez’s most distinguishable skills as a player is his ability to make an impact the second he is subbed into a match. Rodriguez admits that he was worried about his size compared to his older collegiate competitors, but his spatial awareness and composure on the ball allows him to easily match the game’s fast-paced tempo. Rodriguez is, however, incredibly humble and praises the upperclassmen on the team for his success.
“I look up to the guys on the team who are physically dominant,” Rodriguez said. “Not because of their size, but because they push me in practice, so that I can hold my own against players twice my size in games.”
Rodriguez believes the team’s close bond has been the foundation of their success.
“We are always together,” Rodriguez said. “We eat together, we walk to class together, we are like one happy family. It is rather cute. I am excited to see what the future has in store for us.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 2 print edition. Email Nalani Ogawa at [email protected]