(On the Pitch is a quick conversation with a Cape-Atlantic League, Shore Conference or Tri-County Conference high school soccer player.)

Nick Grotti may just be a freshman but he already feels at home at Millville High School.

The 14-year-old forward has scored seven goals, including Millville's only score in a 1-1 tie with rival Vineland on Monday. Grotti comes from a soccer family. His sophomore cousin Morgan Grotti plays on the Millville girls team. Another cousin, Mitch, plays for Rutgers-Camden.

How he got started with soccer: I've been playing since I was three, it kind of runs in the family. I wanted to (play soccer) at a young age and kept going with it because I liked it.

His favorite athlete and team: My favorite team is the Philadelphia Union, but I watch other leagues like in Europe. My favorite athlete is FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. He controls the game through the team and (I admire) how dominant he is. He's a great athlete and that's pretty much my goal, to become like him.

His favorite part of soccer: l think my favorite thing about soccer is the friendship that comes along with it, doing well and bonding with the rest of the team.

On his soccer future: I'm taking it step-by-step but I definitely want to play in college. It's looking good for the next four years of high school.