Nathan Regis is a scoring machine for the Pfeiffer Falcons.
Regis, a senior striker who wears a No. 9 jersey symbolic of a top offensive threat, has 81 goals and 26 assists for Pfeiffer, which is trying to repeat as Division II national champion.
“We know Sasa’s [Regis’ nickname] number speaks for itself,” said junior Jaime Siaj. “He’s the top scorer for the league and in the history of the school. He’s doing a brilliant job for us.”
Regis, who has 20 goals and seven assists this season, is looking to match last year’s 32 goals and seven assists. With the postseason underway, he’s closing in on both. Pfeiffer, the top seed in the Conference Carolinas tournament, hosts No. 5 Lees-McRae Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
“My goal for the season was 30. I want to get 100 career goals. I never want to stop. I don’t want to set any limits. I just want to keep working hard, and get whatever I work for.”
Regis, who was last year’s national player of the year, scored a hat trick in the Falcons’ 7-1 win against Barton in the tournament quarterfinals Monday, hit one from the penalty spot and two from the run of play.
“It’s not always easy to get back in that rhythm, because you can get a little cocky and cognizant of just winning easily,” Regis said. “It’s kind of more difficult to be No. 1 and to come off a good season, to actually get in the rhythm of working hard and respecting your opponent. That’s what it started from. Coach [Bob Reasso] wanted us to come out in the first half and work hard to get the goals in so that other people can play. Since he told us that, we executed it well.”
Said Reasso: “He got three goals tonight in a short period of time, which really set us off for two reasons. One, we took him off so we could rest him, and two, we took him off to respect our opponent, too. There’s no reason to leave our leading scorer on after he had a hat trick. I thought that would be disrespectful.”
Said senior striker Santi Moar, who scored two goals against Barton: “He not only gives us goals, but assists also. He’s very good with his feet, and very good in the air—he wins everything. Hopefully we can use him and go forward in the tournament.”
Regis has a contagious energy, which translates into his style of play. He made first team all-Conference and all-state, earned Conference Carolinas Player of the Year, as well as Conference MVP last season.
“It’s like if you have an opportunity to score you score, and if not, pass it to me, I’ll score,” Regis said. “This season, we definitely want everyone to get on the scoring board. That really helps to know that I’m not the only threat—to know that people will be worried about other people instead of just me. It’s really good to know that anyone can score.”
At 6-foot-2, Regis had the size and athleticism as a freshman, but has since fine-tuned his technique.
“He came with great physical tools,” Reasso said of the Offensive MVP of last season’s NCAA tournament. “I think he’s developed tremendously technically. He’s also a tactically better player. He understands the game very, very well now. Goal scoring is instinctive to him to an extent, but it’s also something that you can get better at by training. He’s gotten much better at it.”
Coming off a 19-goal 10-assist sophomore year that earned him MVP of the Conference Carolinas tournament in 2014, Regis spent the summer of 2015 with the Charlotte Eagles in the USL PDL. When Regis’ teammates joined the Eagles last summer, he trained with MLS clubs like Sporting Kansas City.
“Sasa is a great player,” Reasso said. “He’ll be playing in the professional level next year—somewhere.”
Said Regis: “I’d definitely say the MLS is kind of calling. I’ve been in trials with Sporting Kansas City. It went well, and I really like the atmosphere, but anything in football is really good for me, once God gives me the opportunity.”