LBy Colin Capece ’18
Leading goal scorer, league MVP, state champion. These are titles that junior Matt Vowinkel has claimed this season. Now, he can add one more to his list: All-American.
On Friday, December 4, Vowinkel, who has played on the varsity squad since his sophomore year, was named to the 2015 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) High School Boys All-America Team. To be selected as an All-American, a player must be first nominated by high school coaches from his region. That player is then reviewed by a national committee of coaches, who then chooses the All-America Team. Essentially, Vowinkel was chosen as one of the top high school players in the nation, an astounding way to finish his junior season.
Vowinkel, a striker who wreaks havoc on opposing defensemen, led the Flyers this year with 26 goals. Opposing teams could not defend against his ability to find open space and finish goal scoring opportunities.
Assistant varsity coach Mr. Matthew Chicavich ’98 noted, “Matt has a natural goal scoring ability that can’t be taught. It’s just a vision and hunger that he was born with. He’ll score every type of goal: righty, lefty, with his head, penalties. He’s a constant goal scoring threat.”
Vowinkel found the back of the net when the team needed it most. He scored twice in the CHSAA state semifinals against Archbishop Molloy and twice in the finals against Canisius.
“Matt’s goal against St. Anthony’s in the league final was incredible. He was able to score with only a foot or two of space in the middle of a crowd of three defender,” said Mr. Chicavich. “…[T]his season, teams knew that he was the player to watch and shut down. Because of this, we worked constantly with Matt on how to move without the ball. If you watch him without the ball, he’s constantly trying to break free from two or three defenders. This unselfish work off the ball allowed Matt to hold the ball longer and allowed our team to attack as a unit.”
Vowinkel leads by example on the field and was also named a junior captain on this year’s team. “The entire team respects Matt and finds inspiration from his words and the example that he sets,” said Mr. Chicavich. “This year, Matt was a true leader along with our senior captains Kevin Lee ’16 and Nick Lavinio ’16.”
Vowinkel has an extremely bright future ahead of him, as he has made a verbal commitment to play at Hofstra University, a Division I college program that competed in the NCAA tournament last season.
When asked what this accolade means to him, Vowinkel replied, “ It means everything to me. I’d heard of some older kids being named All-Americans, but I never thought I would be here one day. My coaches and teammates are the real contributors to this award because without them, I would never have been able to achieve it”
“The coaches at Chaminade are like my second family. They have given me so much guidance over the last few years, whether it be on the field in the classroom, or with the college recruiting process,” said Vowinkel. “I will never forget the experiences and memories that I’ve shared with them.”
Over the last three years, Vowinkel has fully dedicated himself to the Chaminade soccer program, and this commitment has helped the program become one of the best in the tri-state area. As a result of his incredible talent and work ethic, he has become one of the finest players in America.
Congratulations to Matt Vowinkel on his incredible achievement!