COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland men's soccer team welcomed members of the media Tuesday afternoon at its annual media day at the Varsity Practice Field.
Cirovski addressed the media about this season's unit, ranked fourth by the NSCAA in its preseason poll. Following Cirovski's remarks, seniors Kaoru Forbess, Casey Townsend, Will Swaim and Alex Lee and sophomore Patrick Mullins talked with members of the media.
Below are quotes from today's event:
Head coach Sasho Cirovski
On the upcoming season:
"In spite of losing a lot of talented players including three underclassmen and seven starters, our goal is still the same. We want to win an ACC championship and we want to win a national championship. We still have not lost the bitter taste of the last game last year. Neither has it been lost on the players. The team came in in unbelievable shape. There's terrific commitment from the entire group over the whole summer. You can tell it's a highly motivated group and a hungry group. We had a very young group of players last year that were chomping at the bit for playing time. They are ready to raise their level of play and make some major contributions this year."
On the atmosphere at Ludwig this season:
"All in all it's exciting. Last season we were fifth in the country in attendance, averaging right around 3,000 people per game. That's better than about 45 percent of NCAA Division I basketball programs. This year we want to be much better than that. We want to get people in the stands and play the kind of soccer to attract not only the student population but the community at large."
Sophomore forward Patrick Mullins
On his role and expectations of the team:
"Keep things simple. Just play what is best for the team. We have high standards here. I wouldn't have it any other way. I want to win a national championship, I want to win everything. That's how we are here and that's how we do it."
On the loss of seven starters from last season:
"We saw that affect the spring. We lost a lot of the leadership group from last year and that was kind of tough. It'll be interesting to see what the identity of this team will be this year. I think were able fix most of that up in the spring. We went through some growing pains and then got a jump start in the summer. We haven't looked back. We can't replace those players but we are doing what we can and we feel good about where we are at."
Senior defender Alex Lee
On how the back line is shaping up in 2011:
"We lost Ethan White and he's not replaceable. Marquez (Fernandez) and Parker (Seymour) are fighting for that fourth position and they've both been doing a great job. In terms of playing, we need to communicate. We have a lot of experience back there. Will (Swaim) is in his fifth year back there. Taylor (Kemp) has been starting for two years and London (Woodberry) has seen a fair share of time as well. We have a lot of experience and everyone knows what their role is. We just need to help whoever lands in that fourth position make an easy transition. Communication is going to be the key.
On expectations for the team:
"Every season we go into, we are determined to win a national championship and an ACC championship."
On how he approached this season different than others after being named a captain:
"My first two years here I didn't stay in College Park and this season I did. I made sure I showed up for everything. In years past, it's been my first priority but if I had a conflict, I might miss something in the offseason. This season it's definitely been number one."