Do more. Be smarter.
Those were the words, in essence, Hartford Union’s coaches told senior forward Cristian Tyrpak as the 2016 season — his senior year — began.
Tyrpak netted 30 goals in three varsity seasons previously, so scoring more was not an issue. He netted 21 as a senior, to close with 51.
His goal total stands third in school history behind James Weber (173) and Colin O’Brien (64), while his 61 points ranks seventh on the school’s list.
However, the staff asked for a mindset change.
Tyrpak admittedly always wanted to score, always wanted the ball at his feet. Since the game first beckoned him to the pitch, the four-year varsity player wanted to be the one fans cheered after a goal was scored.
Longtime Orioles coach Jack De Selm attempted to rein in Tyrpak, in a sense. It was easy at first — he wasn’t the offensive focal point as a freshman and sophomore, and scored just 10 goals between 2014-15.
He then added four assists to a junior-year 20 goals. Yet theywanted more.
“My coach put me into a couple different roles (in 2016) where he knew teams would be man-marking me, double-teaming me,” Tyrpak said. “So he would have me pull them away.”
Stop trying to go 1-on-2, or even 1-on-3. Be a dummy, draw the defense out. Be a playmaker, but in a different sense.
“One of his objectives was to win as many games as possible, including conference,” De Selm said. “We knew that if we played him in certain positions, it would open up the necessary spacing for others to fill the gap and have the ball fed to them.”
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