Nov. 16, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Scott McLain has been one of head coach Mitch Murray's steadiest players over the past couple of seasons, including this year as the junior from Irvine, Calif. has appeared in 17 of the Broncos' 18 matches this year, scoring once and assisting on one other goal.
McLain came to the Mission Campus in 1998 after prepping at Irvine High School in southern California. After a redshirt year in 1998, McLain appeared in 20 games in 1999 and 17 more in 2000, scoring one goal in each of those two seasons.
The midfielder is one of the hardest working and most-liked people on the Bronco team, displaying a quiet demeanor on the field where he lets his play do the talking and leading. He recently took some time out to answer a few personal questions and preview the Broncos' upcoming game with Loyola Marymount and possibly the NCAA Tournament.
Q: What has been your impression of the season to this point?
A: "Basically our main goal all season long has been to win the conference title. Over the course of this season we have beat some good teams while losing to some bad teams. But now we are in a position to achieve our goal and its do or die time on Saturday at LMU."
Q: How hard was it to convince the younger players in the importance of winning the league title?
A: "A lot of the freshmen didn't understand the importance of going to the playoffs. I have been fortunate over my first couple of years here to have success and go to the tournament. Whether it is the first round of the playoffs or the final game, the feeling is totally different from the regular season. It has been good for the freshman to experience the playoff run for this year and for years to come."
Q: With Saturday's match being a must-win situation, how are you guys preparing mentally?
A: "You just have to come to play. Approach it like it is our last game of the season. It is really our second game of the playoffs if you think about it. Against Saint Mary's we approached it as our first game of the playoffs because if we lost our season would effectively be over. So we are approaching this one very similarly. Everyone needs to be on the same page. In our last game against San Jose State we did the absolute bare minimum to win the game and it showed. So we need to come to the game a little better prepared mentally to compete from the get go."
Q: What has been you favorite experience at Santa Clara thus far?
A: "Just playing with the different guys throughout the years. You know you miss the guys who leave but new guys come in to take their place and you develop new bonds. That is basically the best thing about it."
Q: What has it been like to room with so many different teammates throughout the years?
A: "A lot of the guys from the past still come around. Like Eric Denton who now plays in the MLS is living on our couch right now. It is nice because you get different perspectives on games. So many of the guys are trying to go pro, like one of our assistants now Shawn Percell. He still wants to play but we really respect him for helping us out on the field. I know the new players now who room with other new players are gaining different perspectives on things as they discuss their high school days. It's definitely a good thing."
Q: What has been the single-best soccer experience of your life?
A: "It is probably when we beat UConn in 1999. I didn't play the whole game against UConn until the overtime period where I played about 10 minutes before being sent off, then we eventually won that game. The atmosphere and moving on to the National Championship game was a great experience."
Q: Do you think you guys are hitting your offensive stride right now?
A: "Like the last two years we started off slow but finished big. Last year we won our last six games in a row, even though we didn't make the playoffs we were playing well. The coaches know that the most important time is the end of the season and in the beginning of the season when we were unlucky on some chances we now seem to be finishing those chances. Hopefully Saturday and after that it will continue for us."