MEDFROD, Mass. – On a chilly Saturday afternoon last December, the Tufts University men's soccer team was celebrating their 1-0 double overtime victory over Calvin College in the national championship.
The winning goal came off a corner kick that then-junior Tyler Kulcsar was able to flick into the back of the net. It was not only his first goal of the season, but the first of his collegiate career.
Kulcsar, now a senior, was also a part of the 2014 championship team as a freshman. In his time at Tufts, he has helped the team to a 46-12-10 record, including a 5-0-1 start to this season.
The midfielder has been a big part of this Jumbo team in 2017, starting all six games so far. He has been able to control the ball and pace of the game in the midfield, helping to keep the pressure off a defense that has still not been scored on and create opportunities for the forwards on offense that has tallied nine goals so far.
Kulcsar answered a few questions to help fans of the Jumbos get to know him, and this team, a little better.
Question: What was it like last year, having your first collegiate goal be the game winner in the national championship?
Answer: It was an incredible feeling being able to help my team in such a big moment. I used to sit in class wondering what it would be like to score in a game like that and how I would celebrate, and having that actually happen was unreal. Our team worked incredibly hard to stay in that game for 90+ minutes, and I was fortunate enough be in the right spot when Kevin Halliday sent in a perfect ball. Definitely a moment I'll never forget.
Q: How has that experience helped prepare you for your senior season?
A: I think it allowed me to realize that if you continue to work hard and consistently practice with intensity, you will be rewarded. For our team as a whole, we struggled early in the season, but found ways to continue being positive and working hard. This attitude prepared us for the biggest moments and allowed us to be confident late in important games. This year, we hope to continue developing good habits in training so that we are at our best come November and hopefully December.
Q: What major differences, if any, have you noticed between last year's team and this current one?
A: We try to emphasize the fact that each year and each team is very different, and it's crucial to find what works best for our team each specific year. We lost a few seniors last year who were excellent leaders, but Conor Coleman and Sterling Weatherbie have done a great job stepping up as captains. The younger guys definitely integrated quickly into our team, and with the style that we play and the depth that we hope to have, they will play huge roles for us this year.
Q: What made you choose Tufts back when you were deciding where to go to school?
A: As most Tufts student-athletes seem to mention, the balance between a competitive athletic environment and amazing academic opportunities made Tufts the perfect fit. All the guys on our team are serious about their soccer and have ambitions of competing on a national level year in and year out. From an academic standpoint, Tufts is an amazing place to learn with students who are all very excited about what they are doing.
Q: Can you talk a little about your major and why you chose it?
A: I'm majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Coming into school I was definitely a math and science guy, and being able to apply scientific concepts to so many exciting and practical applications is very exciting. The biomedical engineering department at Tufts allows students to engage in research related to tissue engineering, biomedical optics, biomaterials and medical devices, and many other disciplines. I think the field has the potential to influence human health in so many ways, and contributing to solve these scientific and engineering problems is very rewarding.
Q: Besides soccer, what's the best thing about going to school at Tufts?
A: I think the diverse student body and ability to meet so many people from different backgrounds with different views. Especially with the size of the school, I'm constantly meeting people who are involved in incredible work or have very interesting hobbies.
Q: I know seniors must hate hearing this question, but what are your plans for after graduation?
A: I plan to attend graduate school starting next fall. I'm going through the application process now and still not sure where or whether my degree will be in biomedical or electrical engineering.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
A: I enjoy playing golf whenever I can find some time to get out and hit the links. It's a great way to get my mind off whatever's going on in the classroom or on the field, while just enjoying nature and relaxing. It's sometimes tough with the extended winters here in Boston, but a bunch of guys on the soccer team also enjoy playing.
Q: If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and what would you say to them?
A: If I could meet one celebrity it would be Elon Musk. He's incredibly innovative and is working to solve some of the most pressing issues that humans face. I would ask him about his theory that we are all simulations.
Written by Curtis Stoychoff, Atheltic Communications Intern