Tiara Kruzinsky On a Tear to Start Season

Bobby Colla

Staff Writer

In soccer, nine goals in six games is very rare for a single player, but Tiara Kruzinski has done just that for Hudson Valley’s Women’s Soccer team. She is now tied for fourth in the NJCAA Division III goal scoring rankings. “I’m just looking for the corners,” said Kruzinski.

Being switched to forward from midfield for the 2014 season hasn’t affected Kruzinski. She has already exceeded her goal total for her freshman season in 2013 in which she scored just six goals in 13 games.

“It’s great that she took to the position,” said Head Coach Jay Pokines. “It’s nice on my side as a coach that it worked, because so many times when this kind of move is made, it doesn’t work out in favor of the move. It was a nice surprise.”

“I’ve always played mid,” said Kruzinski. “This helps me know where to look for people. When coach switched me, I told him, ‘I just want to score.’”

Kruzinski went to Mohanasen High School, where she played for two different head coaches in her two seasons. “Senior year, Coach ‘Vito’ helped me out,” she said, but added, “my travel coach, at Rotterdam, was the person that really built me to where I am today.”

After spending most of her time playing soccer with Rotterdam through grade 10, Kruzinski moved over to the Guilderland Premiere team. “I got worked every day with them.”

Now playing her second season with Hudson Valley, Kruzinski is moving up the national ranks while helping her team into the top 10 teams in Division III NJCAA Women’s Soccer. This could be seen during Saturday’s game, in which she scored her eighth goal of the season and the sixth of the Vikings’ ten goals in their rout of Clinton.

After she scored her one and only goal during the game, Pokines moved her to defense because the team was already up big. “I didn’t want to run up the score,” said Pokines. “She got her one goal, so I moved her back.”

Even though she does not generally play back on defense, Kruzinski said, “I play all over so I was fine on defense.”

“She’s a very coachable player,” said Pokines, “and she’ll play anywhere you put her.”

Pokines also said he was “nervous” at some points when Kruzinski was on defense because of her attempts at the goal. “You can’t just throw a striker on defense, and just expect that they don’t want to score anymore,” he said. “I moved her back to keep her in, so she could get her touches, slow her scoring.”

“I still wanted to score,” said Kruzinski. “When I saw something, I thought, ‘why not just take it?’”

“I’m still excited to score, and will be,” said Kruzinski.

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