Zach Gardner, a 2021 graduate of Glastonbury High School, has made an immediate impact on the soccer fields at Siena College in Loudenville, New York.
Gardner was named the MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) rookie of the week after scoring his first college goal on Sept 18. The true freshman scored the go-ahead goal, which turned out to be the game-winner, in the 68th minute as the Saints of Siena defeated Merrimack 2-1. The game and Gardner’s goal were aired live on ESPN3.
“It felt amazing. A culmination of emotions in the moment, but it was surreal to see the ball in the back of the net,” Gardner said of the tie-breaking goal, “Looking back at my younger years of soccer it sounds crazy to say I had my first collegiate goal. Just amazing.”
He followed up his clutch kick with another goal in the 15th minute of the following game against Vermont, which ended in a 2-2 draw on Sept 21. Three days later, he dished out his first college assist, helping set up teammate Bilal Hersi for the decisive goal in the 69th minutes in a come-from-behind win (3-2) over Brown.
Prior to Siena, Gardner earned All-State and All-Conference honors and was a team captain during his playing days at GHS, which included back-to-back Class LL state championships in 2017 and 2018, and an undefeated record in the fall of 2020. Off the field, he was part of National Honor Society and French National Honor Society.
Following his college decision last fall, he stated, “Excited to announce my commitment to play Division I soccer at Siena College. Thanks to my coaches, teammates, friends, and family for helping get here today. On to the next chapter. Go Saints!”
He chose Siena because of the team, campus, and academic programs, He plans on majoring in health studies as he continues living out his soccer dream.
Zach Gardner after scoring his first career college goal, which turned out to a game-winner.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin