Written by Robert Bonaparte Thursday, 29 May 2014 00:00
Newton Tsang didn’t have the United States Military Academy at West Point on his radar until March 2013.
That’s when Tsang, of New Hyde Park, was informed by his South Kent School guidance counselor that West Point men’s soccer head coach Russell Payne was interested in recruiting him. A few weeks passed, and Tsang set up an unofficial visit to the campus where he was captivated by West Point’s academics.
“The students were just extremely focused,” said Tsang. “They were really role models at what they do. Their determination is what really caught my attention.”
Tsang made it official in May, when he announced that he will be playing men’s soccer next fall for the United States Military Academy at West Point, a NCAA-Division 1 program.
Tsang, a midfielder, was also considering Loyola University in Maryland, Stony Brook University, Binghamton University and the University at Buffalo.
Tsang will join an Army team that went 12-3-3 last season, which was its highest win total since winning 13 games in 1993. He says the soccer program is just a small reason on why he chose West Point.
“I’m mostly concerned with the quality of education, and the challenges and opportunities that I will be presented with,” said Tsang, who plans on studying psychology at West Point. “Soccer would be a stepping stone to a greater opportunity.”
At South Kent School in Connecticut, Tsang had his most memorable moment in the 2013 New England Class B title game against Lawrence Academy.
After a scoreless tie through overtime, the game went to penalty kicks and each team converted three goals on four attempts. On the fifth and final kicks, Lawrence missed and Tsang converted on the game-winning kick that went to the left bottom of the net while the goalie went the other way. It was South Kent’s sixth New England Championship in the last eight years.
“I hadn’t scored a goal all season, but my coach (Owen Finberg) entrusted me to be the fifth kicker, I was last in line,” said Tsang. “Everyone went crazy and attacked me.”
Tsang attended Lakeville Elementary School and Great Neck South Middle School before attending South Kent School.
Tsang cited the Albertson Soccer Club for honing his soccer skills as he played there when he was 14.