Sophomore Chris Steg led Cougars in goals for 2018 campaign


Runder Rains, Staff reporter

“It is what I do everyday, and it’s just my whole life,” junior soccer player Chris Steg said. “It never gets old, and the unconditional love for the game never goes away.”

On both his school and outside club teams, Steg has accomplished many of his objectives and received many rewards.

“I won state championship for my club team twice, placed second in nationals and first in regionals. I was an all state, all conference and all metro player,” Steg said.

Last year, Steg played for Kerr-Vance Academy, a private school in Henderson, NC and soccer team 02 Premiere during his free time.

Along with many other attributes contributing to his many achievements, his goal scoring is one of the biggest. At his previous school in the 2017 season, Steg scored over half of the team’s total amount of 112 goals.

Last year I scored 58 goals in my season, and that kind of put me up there for that. That was a crazy, crazy season,” Steg said.

This 2018 season, Steg played 17 out of 22 games and scored 25 out of 68 goals, making him the player with the most goals scored on the team. This season also holds one of his best memories.

“Beating Heritage. That’s honestly pretty crazy to say. I’ve always wanted to come here and play against Heritage, and I ended up scoring. We won and we haven’t done that in a long time, so that’s pretty crazy,” Steg said.
As many players might be aware of their accomplishments, Steg was mainly just concerned with having fun and playing the game. He was not expecting any of the rewards or the praise he received.

“I didn’t even know I had that many goals until my last few games, and I was like ‘Wow, okay’. I didn’t even know,” Steg said.

Ever since he was a kid, Steg has been interested in soccer as a sport to watch and play. One of his favorite players who has influenced him the most is Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Steg liked Ronaldo, “because of how confident he is and just the way he plays.”

“I started young, so I just loved watching it and watching my favorite players, and I just wanna be like that,” Steg said.

Steg has stayed focused and knows his motivation is to play soccer in college and to see where it will take him. A key event has helped him with this goal.

“The time I actually put myself out there and tried out for CASL again after the first time I didn’t make it, and I actually made it,” Steg said.

Formerly known as Capital Area Soccer League (CASL), North Carolina Football Club (NCFC) is a soccer association that helps players gain exposure for college and a way to play year round.

Steg’s family and friends have been supporters of his sport as well. Steg cites one of his family members as being one of his biggest role models.

“My step dad. He played soccer at Wake Forest University, and I look up to him. He was a goalkeeper. Honestly, he’s pretty much taught me, mentally, everything I know now. He’s kept me going and given me a drive,” Steg said.
Steg’s teammate, Chris Guccio, shares his opinion on Steg’s skill.

“He has great footwork, he is really good at being able to read the play and anticipate where he needs to be, he has a great shot and he scores a lot of goals,” Guccio said. “I expect to see the same thing that has happened this past year but on a way larger scale. Tons and tons of goals.”

Someone else Steg looks up to is one of his first club coaches, Kyle Dickerson.
“He was probably my biggest influence because he put me in the system and got me going. He’s always given me pretty good advice, like don’t put my head down and don’t stop working,” Steg said.
Current coach Rick Pittarelli was dubious about Steg before he saw him play.
“Chris came to us as a transfer. I had heard from other coaches about him, and I was skeptical at first until I saw him with my own eyes,” Pittarelli said.

Although Pittarelli was uncertain at first, his view on Steg has changed since then.
“He is a true striker, one in which we needed, and will continue to develop being a strong leader for the team. He is extremely passionate about his level of play and also his teammates. I believe within the next two years he will develop immensely and continue to contribute to the Wake Forest men’s soccer program,” Pittarelli said.
Soccer has been a huge joy in Steg’s life and has affected him greatly.
Steg said, “It’s just taught me life lessons and given me something to do in the past couple of years. It just taught me to be persistent and not to give up. I guess because there are always ups and downs.”