Hazleton, Pa. – On April 27, the High Acres Sports Hall of Fall inducted its 25th member, the culmination of one of the all-time great careers in Penn State Hazleton athletics, that of Berwick, Pa. native Kyle Venditti. Venditti wrote the record book for men's soccer at Penn State Hazleton when late last year he became the program's first four-year player while setting marks as the all-time leading goal scorer, assists leader, and breaking his own record for goals in a season.
Venditti burst onto the scene in his first year, setting a mark that would stand for four years, the single-season scoring record with 20 goals and earning his first bid as a USCAA All-American. Following a 19 goal season in his sophomore year, Kyle earned his associates degree and walked away from the sport and the campus to pursue other endeavors.
But in 2015, Venditti returned better than ever. Now a crafty veteran, the junior led the team in goals and assists, helping his team back to the playoffs and a trip to the semi-finals. After a two-year hiatus, the junior was back on the map and that year, scored in all but four of the team's games. His comeback efforts earned the forward his third selection to the PSUAC All-Conference team and a second All-American nod, but the forward would save his best season for his last.
In his final year, the senior started his season with a bang. On opening day, Venditti was responsible for an astounding six goals and as conference play kicked off just over a week later, that trend of excellence continued. On October 13, Kyle broke his own single season scoring record and helped propel his team all the way to the conference championship and a runner up finish in the Penn State University Athletic Conference. Kyle had capped his amazing career with record-setting 25 tallies and 13 assists. His numbers were some of the best in the nation, ranking in the top five in all major scoring categories in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
Venditti's career may seem somewhat repetitive, but only because he rarely failed to perform. Renowned for his ability to take punishment on the field, Venditti had a knack for shrugging off oncoming defenders and his dribbling skills were unmatched, making for a nightmare for opposing goaltenders. In four seasons, Venditti helped the Nittany Lion soccer program reach the post season three times, two of which resulted in PSUAC championship appearances. His 83 career goals now sets the standard for which future Nittany Lions will strive to best, and leaves behind a well-deserved legacy of success at Penn State Hazleton.