BRISTOL - In wake of losing the end of her high school soccer career a little earlier than she would have liked after the NVL canceled its postseason tournament, St. Paul goalkeeper Nina Zwolinski can look forward to a more normal season a year from now at the next level.
Alongside her family and head coach, Zwolinski signed her letter of intent to play for American University on Thursday afternoon. The two-time All-state selection was the backbone of the Falcons’ defense for four years and will now take her exploits between the pipes to Washington D.C. to play at the Division I level.
“It’s great to have something to look forward to after ending the way we did,” Zwolinski said. “We still had a great season and I wouldn’t change that.”
After having plenty of success at the high school and club level she is looking forward to the challenges of college soccer and continuing to get better from new experiences.
“The high pace, high intensity, the way they play, I’m really looking forward to it,” Zwolinski said. “It’s definitely going to be different than high school, much more intense, I’m just looking forward to upping that level of play.”
She said the relationship the players at American have with each other was the type of environment she was looking for in her collegiate program. After not taking the field this year, the starting job between the pipes at American may be up for grabs as the only keepers on this year’s roster are a senior and a freshman.
“The way that the team is bonded, they’re really close, they have a lot of fun,” Zwolinski said. “But once they step on the field, they’re focused, they’re going 100 percent all the time and I just love that bond that they have.”
This moment is nearing the completion of a goal Zwolinski set for herself many years ago. While many kids aspire to such achievements, Zwolinski is one who materialized it.
“Nina decided before she even came to high school that she was going to play Division I soccer,” her mother Jadz said. “She never wavered from that goal so to see this happening now is beyond exciting and gratifying for us.”
With more soccer in front of her, Zwolinksi is not going to let a spoiled senior season tarnish how she looks back on her time at St. Paul.
“At the end of the day you’re not going to remember any of the games you played,” she said. “You’re going to remember the memories you had with the team and I definitely had some good ones with this [team].”
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org