Rutnik Heads to LIU
Senior Victoria Rutnik will be the first NHS hockey player to play for a Division 1 school when she joins Long Island University next Fall. Rutnik dedicates six hours a week to practice and currently plays for both the varsity boys' team and the NJ Colonials 19U AAA girls' team.
Rutnik started playing hockey at five years old and has long thought about playing hockey in college. A lot of thought and preparation went into her decision to join LIU. “The recruitment process was a long and difficult process with sending countless emails and speaking with multiple coaches, but it was all worth it in the end because I ended up at my dream school that I have always wanted to play for,” she said.
She believes that the competition in college will be much different than what she’s used to. “The girls are more developed and stronger, so it will definitely be an adjustment but I look forward to competing at that level,” Rutnik said. She also looks forward to having the ability to bond with teammates in the locker room and having more of a family environment.
Head Coach Dave Macri of the NHS ice hockey team is tremendously proud of Rutnik. “Victoria has always been a pleasure to coach. She is one of those rare athletes who always does more than required. Her skill set, work ethic, and coachability are why she is moving on to the NCAA D1 level. She has put forth tireless effort and years of dedication to her craft. She has earned every bit of her success and I am very excited to see her continued successes both on and off the ice,” Coach Macri said.
Victoria contributes immensely to the NHS ice hockey team. Coach Macri said, “Not only is she a spectacular netminder, but she has a knack for coming up with a HUGE save at just the right time to help lift our team when we need it. She also has the ability to stay cool and collected under pressure. That tends to rub off on her teammates and make us a better, more mature, team.”
Coach Macri feels great having one of his players play at a division one level. “She has earned it and I can’t think of anyone better than Victoria to represent Nutley HS in the ranks of D1 NCAA Ice Hockey,” he said.