Given the moniker "The Black Hole" by his older teammates for perceived selfish behavior as a freshman, Washington Township's Nick Moskwa dedicated himself to re-defining his soccer game.
"I scored goals as a freshman," Moskwa said. "But I needed to work with my teammates and score goals as a team."
The senior midfielder has eight goals and three assists for the Senators (3-4), who have already broken the program record for wins in a season.
"He has a love for the game," Washington Township coach Joe Nugent said of Moskwa, a four-year starter. "Nick's a good athlete, and I feel comfortable putting him at any position -- outside of goalie. He runs our offense."
Moskwa appears to be more of a finished product, but the growing process was painful at times -- especially as a first-year starter in the program's second year of existence.
"When I was called a ball hog or "Black Hole", I didn't think about taking the ball away from people or not getting assists," Moskwa said. "I was just focused so hard on scoring. I realized that I needed to work on passing.
"I tried to change as much as possible. As a sophomore and junior, I was passing too much and didn't score. I think I've evened it out."
Moskwa had four goals in a 7-4 win over Morgan Township then a hat trick in Monday's 7-2 win over Gavit.
Moskwa's favorite position is actually defense, a spot he started to play when he picked up the sport as a 3-year-old. He just understands that he's needed elsewhere.
"I just took the mentality of the defender and switched it around," Moskwa said. "This team doesn't need me as much on defense, so I can concentrate more on scoring and transitioning from offense to defense."
Moskwa also splits his time in the fall, since he also runs cross country.
"I run like three miles a day, and usually come to soccer after running a few miles," he said. "My fitness is at a higher level, and I really think that cross country helps with that."
An expanded roster of 25 players -- 10 more than last season -- also keeps Moskwa fresh.
"Even having endurance, you'll still get tired and you don't play at such a high level," he said. "You have to take breaks on the field -- and you're essentially taking away a position.
"Now with my five to 10 minutes of rest, I have that breather and I can go 100 percent again."
He's mostly proud of the improvements the team has made as a whole in his four seasons.
"I'm just so proud to be a part of it; it was something I didn't know would happen when I was little," Moskwa said. "I hope we can continue to improve this season."