Kelly Martyanov began her varsity soccer career at Greenwich High School as a freshman and though her days on the Cardinals team will be ending sometime in November, she’ll still be competing in the sport for quite some time.
A senior forward, Martyanov recently committed to play soccer at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
“I feel like Massachusetts is a great place to be,” said Martyanov, who has helped pace Greenwich to a successful soccer season this fall. “I narrowed it down to five schools and this year I made the decision to go to UMass.”
The college selection process for student-athletes has been different from other years since early 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was difficult because of COVID, because I couldn’t do a lot of camps my junior year,” Martyanov said. “I started sending out emails and a highlight reel and doing a lot of zoom interviews. I spent a lot of time just finding out what was best for me.”
Coached by Amy Zombeck, UMass Boston has been one of the most successful teams in the Little East Conference (NCAA Division III) for well over a decade. Zombeck, who is currently in her 16th season as coach at UMass Boston, entered the season with 153 career victories. She’s guided UMass to four Little East Conference regular season titles and one Little East Conference Tournament title.
“They are always one of the top teams in their conference and they are doing well again this year,” Martyanov said. “I think they are graduating a lot of senior forwards.”
Also a varsity basketball player at Greenwich High, Martyanov soccer start at a very early age.
“I love playing soccer, I’ve been playing since I was three years old,” she said. “I love to wake up and play every day. I love playing here at the high school and I’m really excited about having the opportunity to play at the college level for four years.”
Over the years, Martyanov has also honed her skills playing for Connecticut Football Club (CFC) and Greenwich United. Greenwich coach Simon Rumbold has also coached Martyanov at Greenwich United.
“Simon has really developed my game and he has been really supportive,” Martyanov said. “He has a deep understanding of the game and he has really helped transform and develop my game.”
Rumbold is impressed with the Martyanov’s overall skill set and her commitment to the sport.
“Kelly is a really strong player,” Rumbold said. “She has the size and ball skills combined, which you don’t see that often. She’s incredible at holding the ball up. Her hold up play is probably the best I’ve seen a player of her age. She’s played for me since U-12, so it’s been nice to see her compete all of these years. She also has played since freshman year here at Greenwich.”
Martyanov is one of Greenwich’s playmakers and leading scorers this fall – a season that’s seen the Cardinals qualify for both the FCIAC and CIAC Class LL tournaments. Seeded eighth, Greenwich (7-5-3) visits St. Joseph (14-0-1) in the quarterfinal-round of the FCIAC Girls Soccer Tournament Thursday at 3 p.m.
“Being a part of the team has been amazing,” she said. “We started out as a team that is developing and now I feel like this is our best team. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
The team earning a berth in the FCIAC Tournament during her senior season is especially exciting for Martyanov and the squad’s upperclassmen.
“It’s great, I have been on the team since I was a freshman and we never made it, so it’s a team effort and we worked really hard to make it,” Martyanov said.