Miranto confident in her game
by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor
Photos: Daemen University Athletics
Confidence can certainly go a long way. Just ask any athlete who has lack confidence over the years. They will tell you when they aren’t confident it translates to their game. When they are confident, you can see them in the zone.
As most freshmen know college is not easy, They are trying to get acclaimed to their classes, while trying to make a good impression on the field. They want to prove to the coaches that they can play at the highest level.
Sometimes, however, not everything goes to plan - especially during a freshman campaign. You spend more time trying to understand the little nuances of the game, instead of just going out and playing like you know how.
The difference between Kylie Miranto’s freshman and sophomore seasons definitely would be confidence. The Daemen University soccer player performed well during her freshman year, but not up to the standards that she puts on herself.
This season, the North Tonawanda native has exploded onto the national season with 16 goals and 36 points. She enters the playoffs ranked second among all NCAA Division II players in goals per game (1.14) and fourth in points per game (2.57).
Her 16 goals rank as the fourth most in a season by a Daemen player in program history. Jamie Boyer netted a school record 20 in 2018. Her 36 points rank as the sixth most in a season by a Daemen player in program history.
“The main tool that has really helped me this year is confidence. Coming in as a freshman confidence can be difficult to have because you are surrounded by such good players and it can be scary at times,” stated Miranto. “Coming back for my second season with the team my confidence has definitely grown on the field. I would say that I am still not the most confident player, but I know my role now, and am super close with my teammates, so confidence is definitely something that develops over time.”
Players are expected to take a big jump their second year in a program. Mostly, because, they are more comfortable with the style of play - and what the coach expects from them. Miranto took this offseason serious as she played with a semi-pro team.
Playing with other great players helped Miranto identify some of the things she needed to work on as the season was fast approaching.
“Growth is the biggest thing that helped me make this jump from last year to this season. Training over the summer, playing in the semi-pro league and competing against higher level teams taught me a lot,” stated Miranto. “Another thing that went into this leap is learning from my coach here at Daemen and learning our style of play. As a freshman it can be a difficult adjustment playing new positions, new formations, and a brand new style of play. So through all of my experience last year, and training over the summer, I think I really just started to understand our game better and worked on that.”
When Miranto steps on the pitch she is all business. She wants to win just as bad as everyone else, and it shows. Scoring goals is fun, and needed to win games, but winning is what drives Miranto.
She wants to be part of that team success. She wants to have that feeling of winning. Before Miranto steps on the pitch, she visualizes what might happen. It gives her a sense of calm before the storm .
“As I get ready to walk on the pitch I just think about the feeling of winning, and that drives me. As a team we practice a lot of manifestation and visualization techniques which have also helped,” stated Miranto. “Sometimes in the locker room or during warm ups I will visualize scoring a goal, or winning the game, and the thrill that comes with all of it.”
Miranto has been like that her entire life. Whether it’s been on the pitch, or on the lacrosse field, Miranto wants to score. It’s ingrained in her brain that when she goes out there she will be the one that puts the team on her back.
It’s that type of competitiveness that drives Miranto every day when she steps on the pitch.
“I am a very competitive person, especially on the field. I think growing up playing sports my whole life competitiveness was kind of just a trait that got rooted within me, so I think that is most of the reason why I have a goal scoring mentally,” stated Miranto. “Every time I step on the field I have the desire to win so badly, doing whatever it takes. In this case I help my team accomplish that I think by scoring goals to the best of my ability.”
Miranto is the first to admit that without her teammates the season she is having wouldn’t be possible. Her teammates have been putting her in a good position all season long, Miranto is just on the receiving end off all the accolades.
She knows to be a dynamic scorer that sometimes you need to be selfish. All the best scorers in history have been selfish. They have the confidence to finish the play when given the opportunity.
“On the field the biggest thing about being a dynamic scorer is never letting up, and going hard each game. No matter the competition I want to score more than anything because I want my team to win,” stated Miranto. “However, I could not score any of my goals without the help of my teammates. The assists and the plays that develop into a goal for me or anyone on the team is the most important factor. Without the perfect tackle, through ball, pass or cross, my success as well as the team's success would not be possible.”
Off the field, Miranto is just as competitive. She is enrolled as a forensic major, and at times it has been pretty tough juggling both. Miranto has always beed an excellent student, but it still was a transition going from high school to college.
She has to make sure she got her studies done while missing class at times, due to the team traveling for away games. However, as the season went on, Miranto was able to get a routine down that fir her perfectly.
“This was also a big transition for me, taking a lot of challenging science classes my freshman year was really difficult to manage while playing two sports,” stated Miranto. “During the soccer season we traveled a lot, which made it even harder because I missed class often, but it got better as the year went on. I just learned to study on the bus and make sure to get my work in on time in order to keep my GPA up as much as possible”.