By Spencer DuPuis
LoCoSports Staff Writer
Leesburg (May 17, 2016) — Heritage High School junior Kosta Nika has made an early verbal commitment to continue his soccer career at Division I Binghamton University starting in the 2017-2018 school year.
“It feels great to be committed, especially to somewhere I would love to go to,” the 5-foot-7 Nika said. “I feel a lot more stress relieved but also realize that I only have to improve now and can only increase my level of play.”
The Bearcats are coached by Paul Marco — who will enter his 15th season as head coach in the fall. While there, Nika will meet up with his friend and former Briar Woods goalkeeper Chris Shutler.
“I chose to spend my four years after high school at Binghamton because it was a school I grew great interest in after being introduced to,” Nika said. “My friend attends the school and I loved it after my visit. I felt like I was at home and all the players on the team were extremely kind.”
Nika mentioned that he hopes he can add the way he plays to the team at wing or outside back come his freshman season.
“I believe I will bring my bite and strive to become better everyday to the Bearcats,” Nika said. “I will never give up and bring everything I have to the field every single day.”
Nika is excited to make the journey to Binghamton in the summer of 2017 with Heritage Pride and Loudoun 98 Red teammate Ryan Pyszka.
“Ryan is a great player, so it will be a great opportunity for us to be able to express our chemistry on the pitch,” Nika said. “We have been playing with each other for three years now and have learned how to benefit each other in game situations to get the best result possible.”
Nika hopes that the Pride can make a long run in the playoffs after a 13-1-2 record in the regular season. On Friday, May 20 No.1 Heritage will take on the winner of No. 4 Dominion and No. 5 Loudoun County — which is set for Wednesday, May 18 — in a Conference 21B semifinal.
“The season has been great with Heritage being able to bring my passion for the game into the team and improving greatly everyday with the expectations of winning states this year providing the incredible players this team holds,” Nika said.
The Greece-native mentioned that soccer is something that keeps him motivated and helps him get through hard times.
“I play soccer because it is my passion and is all I think about everyday,” said Nika who plays his club soccer for nationally ranked Loudoun 98 Red. “Soccer helps me through tough times and it makes me feel great knowing I am improving everyday. I do not need any outside motivation because I know what I need to do and motivate myself to become the best player I can possibly be.”