After making the decision more than two months ago before the start of his senior season, Bristol Eastern goalkeeper Nate DiLoreto finalized his commitment to play for the University of Hartford this week.
DiLoreto signed his National Letter of Intent and will join the Hawks next fall after four impactful years as a member of the Lancers.
“With the season ending the way it did for me, knowing that I have another step in my playing career feels pretty good,” DiLoreto said. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was like four and knowing that some kids, that this is it for them and they didn’t get the chances that they wanted, I feel bad for them.”
A two-year captain at Eastern, DiLoreto garnered recruiting attention after a lights-out junior season that featured 12 clean sheets as Eastern went undefeated in the regular season. Some of his most lasting memories, however, came from moments that were more infrequent.
“I’m definitely going to remember scoring that goal against Farmington,” DiLoreto said. “Sophomore year when we played Central, that was my first time starting against Central. We tied the first game at home and then we beat them away and that away win got us into the tournament. Just thinking back on that and not taking things for granted about how fast time goes because I remember being a freshman sitting on the varsity bench.”
DiLoreto became the second goalkeeper in school history to score a goal when he blasted a free kick from midfield against Farmington on Nov. 4.
While he received more than one offer to play at the Division I level, his choice with Hartford came down to the school’s soccer program and communications programs, which will allow him to study for a career in sports media.
“They’ve always done pretty well in the tournament,” DiLoreto said. “Their staff, their players are all very outgoing in their personalities. The way that they work, their work ethic is awesome. When I went for visits, the players were always bonding and they welcomed me.”
DiLoreto believes his work ethic and passion for soccer will be what help him succeed the most at the next level. Despite being the new recruit on the roster next year, he is driven to make a run for the starting spot on a team of young goalkeepers.
“I don’t want to be third or second string, my goal is to take that starting spot freshman year, but that’s not guaranteed,” DiLoreto said. “[I] just keep on working at practice, preseason, just to work towards getting that starting role or to get some minutes freshman year, that’s just my goal.”
Thankful to have more competitive soccer in front of him, DiLoreto attributes his success on the field to how important soccer is to him.
“If I didn’t like to do this sport, if I didn’t have the love for the sport that I do, I wouldn’t be where I am now, I wouldn’t want to keep on going, I would find something else,” DiLoreto said. “Being able to go to the field and just kick a ball around, even the little stuff like that, clears my mind sometimes off of stuff that I’ve been thinking about too much.”
With countless opportunities ahead of him and the prospects of a soccer season he’s more accustomed to, DiLoreto is looking forward to what coming, but will try to not let it blow by because of how quickly he feels high school did.
“You put in so much effort to be where you are, and I felt that to be where I am now and to be at Hartford, I feel like I worked my way up to that and I’m just really excited to see where it takes me,” DiLoreto said.
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org