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Nixon Soglo enjoying breakout season on Montclair State Men’s Soccer Team

Montclair State University Men’s Soccer junior forward Nixon Soglo admitted he didn’t start playing soccer until his freshman year at Burlington High School. He had previously focused mainly on track where he advanced to the national tournament and racked up a bunch of awards.

“After my freshman year I made the junior varsity team and moved on to a club team and then academy,” said Soglo. “A goalie coach from Montclair recognized me and put me in touch with Coach Tumelty.”

This season, Soglo is enjoying a breakout season, having tallied a team-high nine goals, three assists and 20 points. In his last four games, Soglo has scored five goals that earned him NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference) Player of the Week honors.

The Red Hawks are currently 11-1 and 4-0 in the NJAC. On Saturday at MSU Soccer Park, Montclair State faces off against second-place Ramapo College.

“We really talked about attacking in practice and worked on a lot of drills,” Soglo said. “A lot of our goals go from the defense to the midfielders to the forwards. The game against Ramapo is a very big one for us, beating them would be good for our chances in the NCAA Tournament. Everyone is excited and we’re prepared to beat them.”

Soglo has embraced the progression he has made from his freshman year up to this point in the 2018 regular season.

“My freshman year was very overwhelming, we had a lot of talented players who I got to learn from and still talk to today. That was one of the best teams’ I played on , Lucas Terci who is the school record for most career goals with 63 and we won the NJAC Tournament Championship. Winning my first college championship, recognizing how big it was and crowd size.”

However, after going 16-6-1 in 2016, the Red Hawks dropped off to 13-7-1 in 2017 and lost to Rutgers-Newark in the NJAC Tournament. “We lost 11 players, featured a new group trying to fill those spots and rebuilding stage for us,” said Soglo. I was injured most of the year, not indicative of how we played and wanted it to end.”

With the team bouncing back this year, Soglo credits Head Coach Todd Tumelty for keeping the team together. “He knows the game, is open to other people’s opinions including assistant coaches and success just not going his way but seeing other people’s points of view and incorporating into the team. His method is of working hard and pushing through. Even if we are not consistent favorites against other teams’, he still tells us here is the game plan and what the other teams’ weaknesses are.”

“He is the only reason I’m here, because he recruited me. Every time I’m on the field playing my hardest with Montclair name on my chest and wear it with pride. We’re playing to make the university proud and recognize the history of winning and want to continue that same mentality.”

After being named NJAC Offensive Player of the Week, Soglo says more people notice him on the Montclair State campus. “A lot more people are coming out to the games and cheering for us. I have a lot of friends on the soccer team and in classes.”

What matters most to Soglo is the reaction from his family and having a cousin that graduated from the school. “They are very proud of me and watch me on the computer. I talked to them on the phone.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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