MERRILLVILLE | Some people have a scorer's mentality.
Vangel Nacovski had a scorer's "Zen"-tality.
"I went out there wanting to make goals," Nacovski said. "I looked for openings and opportunities. And when I was in a zone, I saw things happening before they happened."
If you want to predict the future, too, just say that Nacovski's Indiana high school boys soccer career goals record won't be broken anytime soon. Nacovski scored an astounding 162 goals for the Merrillville while twice helping them reach the state finals.
Nacovski continued his career at IUPUI where he continued to find the net with uncanny frequency. Moving from forward to center midfielder, Nacovski, went on to become the Jaguars' Newcomer of the Year in 2004; the team's MVP in 2005, 2006 and 2007; Mid Continent/Summit League First-Team All-Conference selection 2004-2007; and the Summit League Offensive Player of the Year in 2007.
He now ranks first all-time at IUPUI, in career goals (37), career points (89), career game-winning goals (15), career multi-goal games (seven) and most goals and points in a game (four and eight).
"I credit my father (Peco Nacovski) with helping me develop at a young age," Nacovski said. "He got me dribbling with my left and right foot to a point to where I could always keep my head up and have good vision of the field.
"It also helped that I always played with older players while growing up."
On Feb. 1, Nacovski was inducted into the IUPUI Athletics Hall of Fame.
"I received the letter some time before," Nacovski said. "I graduated in 2008, so it may have been my first year of eligibility if you go by the standard five-year wait."
Included in the class were Don Carlisle (men's basketball), Brad Wheeler (cross country) and orthopedic surgeon Arthur Rettig for meritorious service to the school.
After his college career, Nacovski was drafted by the Chicago Storm of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
"But the league folded before I got a chance to play," said Nacovski, who briefly considered a pro career in Europe (his father played professionally overseas).
"But the money wasn't there," he said.
Nacovski is the director of coaching for Millennium Soccer, a local youth soccer club with 14 teams. Nacovski personally coaches four of those teams.
"Soccer has given me so much that I want to give some back," said Nacovski, who imagines he'll be involved with the sport for the rest of his life.
"The game is in my blood."