When Hand boys soccer coach Greg Cumpstone told Scott Testori to get to the high school as soon as he could on Monday, he had no idea what was coming.
“I thought maybe I was getting a plaque for the State Player of the Year award (for the second straight year),” said Testori, who was home for remote learning.
Testori, a high-scoring forward, found out some pretty unexpected, but exciting news when he arrived at the Madison school: he was selected the National Player of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches.
“When (Cumpstone) told me when I showed up, I was just shocked. I didn’t know what to say,” Testori said. “I’m kind of overwhelmed. It’s pretty crazy.”
Testori is the first state player to win the National Player of the Year laurels. The award began in the 1994 season.
Testori, 18, had previously been named the Connecticut Player of the Year, All-American and All-New England each of the past two seasons. He was also the New Haven Register’s Area MVP as a sophomore and a junior (this year’s selections have not officially been announced yet).
Hand won three Class L state championships during Testori’s first three seasons. The Tigers went undefeated this past season, but no state tournament was held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m not one for the greatest of all-time debates, especially when comparing guys across different eras, and I’m certainly no historian,” said Cumpstone, Testori’s coach the past three seasons. “When you factor in these team achievements, coupled with his individual awards, Scott has to be the greatest player in our program’s history and perhaps the most successful player in the history of Connecticut high school soccer. I feel privileged to be his coach.”
To Cumpstone’s point, Hand compiled a 64-7-9 record during Testori’s tenure. The Tigers won a pair of Southern Connecticut Conference tournament titles (including Division B this year), two league regular-season titles and three division crowns.
All told, including the three Class L titles, that is three more championships of some sort than games lost during the past four seasons.
“When he steps onto the pitch, Scott is so competitive, but he is also a sportsman,” Hand athletic director Craig Semple said. “If he knocks someone down, he picks them up. If he sees someone down, he is the first one over to pick him up. I’ve seen him do that for four years. He really represents our community and athletic program with a lot of pride and integrity.”
Testori signed his national letter of intent Friday to play at UConn next season.
“It’s kind of a dream senior year you could hope for in terms of individual awards,” Testori said. “Coming into my freshman year, I never would have dreamt about something this huge. I still don’t know how to react to it.”
Tesdtori finished his career with a program-best 86 goals, along with 32 assists.
“This award is a testament to Scott’s hard work and dedication to the sport, as well as his unrelenting desire to improve,” Cumpstone said. “It’s also recognition for his teammates throughout his four years, without whom, winning these individual accolades would not be possible.”