Who’s that Scranton athlete?

Kevin Kozic: First on team, second in conference in goals

COURTESY OF SCRANTON ATHLETICS SENIOR FORWARD Kevin Kozic controls the ball in a recent game at Fitzpatrick Field. Scranton is currently in a four-way tie for the fourth and final Landmark Conference playoff spot. The team’s final regular-season game Saturday against Elizabethtown will decide its future.

COURTESY OF SCRANTON ATHLETICS
SENIOR FORWARD Kevin Kozic controls the ball in a recent game at Fitzpatrick Field. Scranton is currently in a four-way tie for the fourth and final Landmark Conference playoff spot. The team’s final regular-season game Saturday against Elizabethtown will decide its future.

BECCA FERENCI
Staff Writer

Kevin Kozic first kicked a soccer ball when he was five, and he has shown no signs of stopping ever since.

In his fourth year on The University’s men’s soccer team, forward Kozic is continuing his success as a captain and leading scorer for the team. Kozic is from Bridgewater, N.J., and he attended Immaculata High School.

Soccer was a major factor in his decision to come to Scranton. A few of Kozic’s former high school teammates played for The University and gave him a positive impression of the school and soccer program. His decision did stem from reasons other than soccer, though. He was interested in physical therapy, and the school caught his attention for that.

Kozic now has a full schedule as a community health education major with a minor in coaching and a nutrition concentration. As a long-term goal, he aspires to be an occupational therapist. Soccer is his main hobby and passion, but Kozic also plays intramural basketball. He enjoys sports other than soccer as well.

With playoff hopes still alive, Kozic said his main focus right now is on his team and his sport. As a four-year athlete, Kozic described a positive experience with the soccer program.

“It’s been awesome, definitely a great experience. Just even being with the team, it’s like a second family. Being an athlete has been a big role of mine in my college experience,” Kozic said.

Even when he is no longer on a college team, Kozic still plans to continue with soccer. He said that he will probably play in a men’s league, and would consider coaching. Given that the sport has been such a huge part of his life, it will definitely be an adjustment for him when the season ends.

“I love it so much. I couldn’t imagine it not in my life”, Kozic said.

After the season is over, he plans to relax and take time for himself, but not without keeping the sport a part of his life.

Of his four years with the team, Kozic pointed out his sophomore seasons as one of his strongest and most memorable. That year, the Royals advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.

“That’s definitely something I’ll take with me and remember forever,” Kozic said.

In addition to the team’s success in 2012, Kozic, himself, scored eleven goals. This year, Kozic leads his team with six goals. He has 20 goals total in his career.

“Even this year, six is just awesome. I mean I’ve had some pretty big goals for some big games,” Kozic said.
He said one clutch goal that stands out to him is his goal against Drew University, when he scored the only goal of the game to lead the Royals to victory.

The playoff hopes of the Royals will be determined Saturday. To make the playoffs, the team will need a win itself and a loss or tie from two other teams. Kozic is remaining positive, and he said all his team can focus on is doing what it needs to do. The leadership Kozic exhibits as captain is something that he plans to carry with him for the rest of his life.

“Being as I am a captain on the team, it has given me some leadership roles. It has given me discipline. Whether it’s getting to practice on time or games on time, it’s just focusing on what I need to get done for that game or practice,” Kozic said. “I think I can definitely carry that on into the workforce.”

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