During a routine set of finishing drills three years ago, Norwich University men’s head coach Adam Pfeifer noticed that freshman Joseph Thongsythavong might not be exactly what they thought.
A native of Salem, Mass., the freshman came into the program as a standout central midfielder from St. Mary’s (Mass.). He earned his place through his versatility, his defensive mindset, and his knack for controlling the ball in the middle third.
Then, he started launching shots in practice and three years into his collegiate career he hasn’t stopped, setting records along the way and transforming into one of the top strikers in the nation.
"He was a much different player than we even knew during the recruiting process," Pfeifer explained. "We knew that he was good. He played on the field as a central midfielder or even a defender. I saw him at a clinic playing right back. I didn’t really have a clear vision of where he belonged until he came into preseason. During finishing drills, it became really apparent to me that he was a very good finisher, fearless in terms of putting his head where a lot of people won’t put their foot to score a goal."