NJCU Soccer Player Makes ESPN Play of Day


NJCU Athletics

Zoe Viant, Managing Editor

It was the middle of September and Edric DePaula (National Security), of NJCU soccer teams’ main strikers, had spent most of the game sidelined with a sprained knee. With only a few minutes left in overtime and NJCU tied with College of Mount St. Vincent, DePaula’s head coach, Joe Cullen, suddenly put him in. DePaula received a pass from his teammate Joe Burgos (Global Business), then caught the ball in his chest and scored with an incredible bicycle kick no one saw coming. “I was like you know what, I came in extra time. I gotta try something. I didn’t even know if it was gonna go in or not,” he said.


In the moment, DePaula was not thinking about anything else other than just scoring with this sick move and winning the game. He was not aware how this would impact him or his team for the next couple of days.


When he woke up the next day to get ready for his hour long commute to school, he realized his phone was full of messages. “I was scared. I was like what happened? And then the coach text me, and then Ira (Thor) texted me like ‘I have a video for you.’ And I was like no way.”


DePaula learned that ESPN had chosen the bicycle kick as their number two play of the day. He was in the company professional teams; the number one play was made by Odell Beckham in the Giants vs. Bengals game that happened the same day.


DePaula says because of the kick he gained followers on social media from students and athletes. The day he received the video, he was in class when he saw another student watching the video in class.


DePaula says his coaches and teammates would joke around with him about the play. He says, this year, the team has gotten even closer as a family and because of this he feels this has benefited the way they play on the field.


“The season is going really well. I am excited for what’s to come,” DePaula says. He is hoping to achieve his personal goal of exceeding the amount of points he made in previous games.