By MIKE SMITH
On Dec. 12, Mamaroneck senior Nick Tunic earned All-American honors for his performance on the pitch this season, adding the nod to a long list of achievements.
Tunic, the only soccer player in the county to be named an All-American, was previously named Section I’s large-school player of the year.
Tunic said that he found out about the award while in school, learning of his selection through social media.
“I was sitting in last period, and it was a great feeling when I found out,” he said. “It was kind of last minute, I found out on Twitter.”
Still, Tunic’s selection shouldn’t come as a surprise to most as he put together one of the finest seasons in school history.
This fall, Tunic scored 24 goals, notched seven assists, and led the Tigers to a perfect 16-0 regular season record and a league title, the first one ever for the Tigers. The team finished 18-1 on the season after being upset by Horace Greeley in the semifinal round of the Class AA sectional tournament.
“It was definitely a special feeling to be able to do this,” Tunic said. “Regular season, 16-0, every day it was exciting to be out there with my coaches and my teammates.”
Mamaroneck’s resurgence as a program is indelibly linked to Tunic’s return to high school competition. As a junior, Tunic eschewed Section I competition, opting to play for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy instead. Tunic returned for his senior year, he said, to play one last season with his friends.
“We had been playing together since we were little kids and this was my senior year, so I wanted to play with them one last time,” he said. “Also, I had already committed to playing in college, which made the choice easier.”
Tunic said his friends and teammates showered him with support after learning of his All-American selection.
“Everyone was happy for me, everyone congratulated me,” he said. “It was a really great feeling.”
Next fall, Tunic will be headed to Central Connecticut State University to suit up for the Blue Devils. After reviewing several options, Tunic said, Central Connecticut simply felt like the best fit.
“I’ve talked with Coach [Shaun] Green and he’s a great guy, he really feels for his student athletes,” Tunic said. “I went up there on my recruiting trip, met some of the players, and they definitely have top-quality facilities. Plus it’s Division I.”