GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich High senior Pieter Zenner is headed for the rarefied air of Harvard University after leading the Cardinal boys soccer squad to the state semifinals as team captain.
After a season in which he scored 22 goals to go with 14 assists for the Cardinals, all while posting a 4.47 GPA during the first marking period, Peter Zenner is the Greenwich Daily Voice's Athlete of the Month.
Zenner was a key cog on a team with higher expectations than any previous Greenwich High boys soccer team. Many publications picked the Cardinals as the top team in the county, tied in votes with the powerhouse Bears of Norwalk High.
"We were surprised at that. We didn't have a lot of seniors coming back, but the ranking helped us," Zenner said. "We wanted to live up to that. We had so many good players, we bonded well and had great chemistry."
The highlight of the season for Zenner came in the quarterfinals of the conference playoffs when Greenwich finally beat Staples of Westport after being eliminated by the Wreckers for three straight years. He scored the final goal of the game in a dominating 3-0 victory.
Later that month, Greenwich advanced past the second round of the state tournament for the first time since 1998. Although the Cardinals ultimately fell in a heartbreaking, penalty-kick loss to Fairfield Prep in the Class LL semifinals, Zenner said he will never forget the run he and his teammates made this season.
But the difficulty of the soccer season was nothing compared with the challenge of getting into Harvard. Last year, only 1,260 out of 34,302 undergraduate applicants were accepted to Harvard. That was a record-low 5.9 percent acceptance rate.
Zenner attended Harvard's summer soccer camp for three years, getting acquainted with the school's coaches. He made the camp's all-star team this past summer, and the Crimson coaches recruited him.
"It's hard to really grasp what it means. I think I'm really fortunate and a lot of luck went into it," he said. "I hoping to get some playing time there. I don't want to seem like a fluke, so I'm going to work really hard when I get there."
Zenner said he plans to major in economics and minor in music and performing arts at Harvard.