Despite dropping its opening contests against Central Connecticut State University and Albany over the weekend, the men’s soccer team has high hopes for the season. One factor contributing to the Bulldogs’ positive outlook is the return of forward Scott Armbrust ’14, who missed last season due to a hip injury. His sophomore year, Armbrust started in 13 games for the Elis. The News sat down with the Davenport College junior to discuss his return to the team and prospects for the season.
Q: What do you think about the team’s performance in the matches over the weekend, against CCSU and Albany?
A: We have a lot of experience coming back, and I am looking for players to step up who will serve us well in the Ivy season. The matches over the weekend were a wake-up call.
Q: How does it feel to be back? You missed last season with an injury. Was there anything in particular you did so as not to lose the feel of the sport?
A: I am very excited to be back with the teammates. I am looking forward to working out and competing with them. I was out for six months due to a hip injury. I was in machines alternating from icing to mobility for about a month. I could not do anything much, but once I was able to move around, I went to the gym for arm and upper-body workouts. I also got physical therapy in my leg. I needed time for the bone to heal. A lot of players actually suffer from hip injuries, but I am happy that I am now fully recovered.
Q: You had a fantastic season back in 2009. You were named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week and your six goals placed you tied for fifth in the Ivy League. What would be the biggest difference between the current season and that one three years ago?
A: My role on the team is different now. I have more of a leadership role and help determine the tempo of the game. When game situations get tough, I am in the position to take care of them. It is definitely a lot different. The expectations from my coach are higher as well as my own.
Q: How do you evaluate the team’s current forwards?
A: At forward, we have some of the best attacking players and some of them, such as Peter Jacobson ’14, have the potential to be dangerous in the league.
Q: Tell me about your most memorable match or moment.
A: It happened in my freshmen year, back in 2009 … when I scored my first goal against Quinnipiac. It gave me confidence in front of the goal for the rest of the season.
Q: Which team do you consider as the Bulldogs’ biggest rival? The toughest to play against?
A: Harvard. It is true they struggled last year, but the fact that it is Harvard makes the team’s emotions high. Everyone is very motivated to win against the Crimson.
Q: Is there anything special that the head coach emphasizes? Any specific strategies that he uses during practice?
A: Defending as one unit. In offensive style, we have technically sound players, so we focus on moving the ball quicker and keeping it on top more. We put great emphasis on quick movement and mobility.
Q: Is there anything specific or any special strategies that you do as a forward? Sometimes you also play the role of an attacking midfielder. Is there any sort of playing style that you favor or consider to be your own?
A: It does not really matter. We just adapt to whatever the coach wants and try to be versatile players. We basically follow the coach’s style.
Q: The team did well last season, ranking fourth in the Ivies. Do you think the team has the potential to do just as well, or even better this season? What is the team’s goal for this season?
A: Besides of course winning the Ivies … I want a lot of players to be on the first division Ivy team or receive a lot of honorable mentions.
Q: What is your personal goal for this season?
A: Definitely getting an award, such as the First Team Ivy or honorable mention. If I remain healthy even after graduation, I actually want to continue soccer. I am engineering major and I have interned during the summer, but it was not as exciting as soccer.
Q: What does soccer mean to you? Why did you start playing the sport?
A: None of my family members played soccer. I first started playing baseball, but realized it did not fit me as I enjoyed running and being more active on the ground. Then my best friend played soccer when I was young, and I wanted to play with him. I found out I was good at soccer and scored a lot in my first game, so that is why I continued.
Q: Who is your favorite soccer player, and what is your favorite team?
A: Lionel Messi. He plays the position that I play, forward, and Barcelona is my favorite team.
Q: The team has a match against Colgate this Friday. Any comments on that?
A: We are looking to compete hard since Colgate is so good. I do feel that in order to put up a good game, we need to play well and compete really hard to play to our full potential.