By Mason Latimer
“Dominant,” the one word that would describe this season so far for the University of Mary Washington men’s soccer team. Through extraordinary play, they have jumped out of the gate this season to a 7-2 record; making them second in the CAC Conference standings only to Christopher Newport, who has a 7-0-1 record. One of the key members of this strong start has been junior Jacob Burke.
Q: What has contributed most to this year’s great early start to the 2015 season?
A: This year, we met before the season and decided that we needed a culture change built on good chemistry on all levels towards winning. And that culture change has impacted the way we play defense, communicate, and initiate our offense towards scoring goals. No one is complacent, everyone wants to win and will do what is needed for victory. The whole team has bought into the idea of staying focused on winning. This year’s group of guys is the best I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here.
Q: Do you think you will be able to keep this hot streak going?
A: Yes, the culture is right and we have the depth for someone if needed to step in and have a good game.
Q: How is Kilby’s coaching style? Is he calm and collected or tough but fair on you guys?
A: Kilby has done a great job in my opinion, and I would say that he keeps a calm head and makes good decisions in the games.
Q: How did the team prepare for this season?
A: Well, we worked out all summer wherever we were and just looked for ways that we could improve on our own games to help the team.
Q: Why is the UMW Soccer squad such a tight-knit group in your opinion?
A: There are no conflicting personalities on our team and everyone gets along with each other. The team chemistry is at an all-time high and we hope to keep it that way.
Q: What new additions have been key parts to this year’s success?
A: Bringing in new assistant coach Max Watson and the recruitment of talented freshman and transfers have been key additions in creating a team that has no weak links.
Q: What are your thoughts on goalie Matt Spencer having 6 shutout games this season?
A: Matt is doing an awesome job, training hard, and will probably break the school record for shutouts in a season, which stands at 9 games.
Q: What else can you attribute to UMW Soccer becoming a defensive powerhouse?
A: Our back line has been solid, and we have depth at every position that can perform just as well. Also, our focus on defense is to play defense all over the field. The forwards and backs on our team have been pestering opponents into turnovers and we have just been playing lockdown defense.
Q: Will UMW win the CAC Championship this year?
A: We have a great shot at winning the CAC championship, but we still have lots of work to do to get there. Our main goal and belief as a team is that we could win, if we stay on top of our games.