Andy Waluszko used the word tenacious to describe his undersized forward Nicole Alfonsi.
There isn’t a better adjective for the 2013 All-Eagle Girls Soccer MVP.
"Nicole is very determined, very focused. ... She’s not the tallest player on the field, not the biggest player physically, but she gives you 110 percent effort when she’s out there," the Pittsfield coach said. "She’s like gnat. She’s very tenacious up front, which you want with your forwards."
The senior capped a four-year varsity career with 14 goals and eight assists to lead the Generals, who advanced to the Western Massachusetts Division I championship.
It was her field vision that powered Pittsfield into the title game. Playing against heavily-favored and top-seeded Belchertown, Alfonsi opted to not shoot and found Amanda Wright on the back side for the lone goal of the game.
Her coach raves about her ability to ignore an all-to-common occurrence in forwards -- tunnel vision.
"She knows the game, she watches the game, she understands the game," Waluszko said. "Nicole would go and go and then pass it back to someone moving up, whether it be a halfback or something. Nicole has great field vision up front. If she didn’t have [the angle], she would dish it off to someone."
Passing is often overlooked when it comes to a forward’s skill set. It’s something Alfonsi displayed more than just that one time against Belchertown, as evidenced by the seven other times she setup teammates for goals.
But make no mistake, she can score with the best of them, and her goals are not all from the same mold.
The best goal scorers all have a knack for getting to the high-percentage areas and making the most of those opportunities. Alfonsi was lethal inside the 18-yard box, but not only in the conventional sense. She led Pittsfield in goals on corner kicks. She wouldn’t serve the ball in, instead she battled with girls 6 inches taller and won.
"It’s just her judgment. It’s tough for some girls on corners to get up there. Some girls have a tough time judging it," Waluskzo said. "She had some big goals for us this year and last year just on corner kicks. ... She attacks the corner kick ball. She doesn’t wait for the ball to come to her."
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