Athlete of the Month: Noam Davidov ’18

photo by Aaron Wu

Noam Davidov’s ’18 favorite activity at three years old was to kick around a soccer ball. His first experience playing on an official team was at an early age as well, when he began to play for Princeton FC. Since it was a recreational team, it allowed Davidov to establish close bonds with both his teammates and coaches.

In particular, Davidov’s relationships with his longtime club coach Stoyan Pumpalov and the coaches at the high school over the years have helped him in developing a strong passion for soccer.

“I[‘ve] had the same coaches for multiple years, so I got to know them on personal basis, and we have become friends through that. The coaches [at PHS] are just as supportive,” Davidov said.

At PHS, Coach Wayne Sutcliffe has high praise for Davidov as both a player and a teammate. Davidov’s strength on the field is scoring game-changing goals when it counts the most, but he has also developed another important skill for the sport: resilience.

“I think he’s getting better at staying focused and not losing his composure … He scored a lot of big goals last year. For example, he scored the winning goal at the Mercer County Tournament last year, and he scored the winning goal in the Trenton game which we won 1–0. We want him to increase the number of goals that change a game,” Sutcliffe said.

Staying calm and focused helps him to make the right decisions for both him and other players.

Davidov’s favorite memory from his PHS soccer career so far was when the PHS team tied with The Pennington School to finish as co-champions at last year’s Mercer County Tournament. Pennington, as a private school, has some of the highest recruitment rates in the country, so it was an honor for the PHS team.

As for the future of his soccer career, Davidov never imagined himself playing collegiate soccer. However, during last year’s PHS soccer season, he was playing and practicing every day, and achieved a breakthrough.

“Soccer has always been a passion of mine, [but until then] I never knew that I wanted to play soccer in college. The last high school season reminded me why I played so much and put so much into it, [so] at the end of the season I tried to pursue a college career in soccer,” said Davidov.

For his college career, Davidov will be playing at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. He hopes to be as integral there as he is here, in order to contribute to his new soccer team as much as possible. As he moves on, Davidov has some advice for all aspiring soccer players.

“Just keep on going, and try not to look negatively… If you’ve made a mistake, that’s okay; another chance will come,” Davidov said. “Keep trying, and something positive will come out of it.”

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