Hartford, Conn. – From the soccer field to the classroom, Trinity College men's soccer senior Tim Peng's success is due to his relentless commitment and desire to achieve. Peng's soccer experiences have shaped him to be the type of persevering student-athlete he is today and Peng has come to realize that there is no substitute for good old, hard work. As a senior, Peng is making the most of his final soccer season and year at Trinity.
"Soccer has taught me to accept that things happen, good or bad, and many times you're reaction is what defines you," said Peng. "This year, I'm trying to just enjoy playing the game and focus on having fun rather than treating it so seriously."
As a two-year member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Academic team, Peng is a dedicated student and manages his time efficiently. Peng credits his impressive academic record as a product of his athletic participation.
"Playing soccer has prepared me to deal with many of the academic challenges I have faced at Trinity," he says. "I also believe that the reason I've done well is that I picked a school path that aligns with my interests in life."
Peng is pursuing his undergraduate degree as a psychology major, with two minors in philosophy and classical antiquity. In particular, Peng's favorite class so far at Trinity was PSYC 344: Evaluation and Treatment of Addictive Behavior, taught by professor Laura Holt. When asked who his favorite Trinity professor is, he quickly responded, "Professor Holt, everyone should take a class with her." Peng believes that academics and athletics are similar in many respects, specifically that both require dedication and perseverance.
Elected as a captain this season, Peng fits this leadership role naturally. He strives to be a leader that is positive and supportive. "I understand how hard it is to play on a new team and I try to be the senior captain that I would have wanted or would have helped me the most."
Trinity Soccer Head Coach, Mike Pilger added, "Tim is a coach's dream. He is an undisputed leader in a lot of ways and the guy I can count on and the guy the team can count on. The younger players look up to him and when he says something no one ever questions it."
Peng certainly is well respected amongst his teammates. Senior, Alex Bednarek commented, "Tim is an invaluable member of the team, as he would be on any team. His positive attitude, unbelievable work ethic, and constant encouragement of his teammates are an indispensable aspect of keeping our team together. He demands the best from himself and his teammates day in and day out, and never fails to have a smile on his face while he does it."
Peng started playing soccer when he was five years old, and has been passionate about the game ever since. "I love everything about soccer. It's so complex, yet so simple. You can battle your heart out for 90 minutes just to have the game decided by a single kick of the ball. Anything can happen on the field and the unpredictable nature of soccer keeps it exciting from the kickoff to the final whistle. Best of all are the people you meet playing the beautiful game."
Coach Pilger has seen Peng grow from his rookie year until now. "Peng is a deep theoretical thinker and his intensity and passion gets in his way and causes him to overthink the game," says Pilger. "Over the years, he has figured out how to have fun on the field and do what comes naturally."
Recruited out of Sharon High School in Massachusetts and hailing from Taipei, Taiwan, Peng loves playing at Trinity. He had a very successful high school career as a state champion while also being named team captain and receiving all-league recognition. After graduation, Peng took a gap year in Barcelona where he trained with amateur league teams. Now at Trinity, Peng leads the team by example and recently scored the game-winning goal in the team's victory against Western Connecticut State University.
When asked what he likes about Trinity's program, Peng said, "The guys. Everyone has bought in and works hard." Peng also commented on how Pilger has shaped his experience. "He has taught me that no matter how good of a player you are on the field, it is much more important that you are a good person off of it. Thanks to Coach, I will walk away from this four-year adventure a better person, leader, and teammate."
Trinity has not only provided Peng with a terrific division three soccer opportunity, but it has also allowed him to explore other interests. Specifically, Peng plays on the club volleyball team and spends his free time cooking, reading, and watching Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona compete.
As his 20-year soccer career comes to an end this November, Peng looks forward to his next adventure. "I will use all the tips and tricks I have learned on this journey to aid me in my next one. I am excited to see what the world has in store for me, and whether the next result is a win or loss, success or failure, I will keep moving forward."
Peng is interested in pursuing sport psychology. "I want to go into the field of psychology or counseling with a goal to help people struggling with the same things that I have been through as a college athlete such as helping students make the transition to higher levels of competition, helping them deal with the added pressure, and the extra work that is required." Peng understands the difficulties that athletes face and wants to help them overcome those challenges. Looking back at his soccer career, Peng offers the following advice to underclassmen: "Make the most of every moment because it all goes so quick and you don't get a second chance at life."
written by Sarah Connors '18