Preview by John Gragnola, SCU Athletics Department Student Assistant
Looking forward to his senior year, below is an in-depth interview with senior soccer co-captain and defender, Chris Sauter (CS). Sauter says he doesn't lead by example by screaming, hopes to win Santa Clara's third WCC title in four tries and talks about what he will have to work on to make it to the next level.
SantaClaraBroncos.com will be conducting interviews with members of all the athletic teams this summer. Today there are features on three men's water polos in addition to Sauter. Look for Marcus Akerland's feature with Men's Basketball's Kevin Foster on Monday and Gragnola's feature of Women's Soccer's Lauren Matheson next Wednesday. A number of athletes and coaches will be featured this summer.
SCU: What are you doing in the offseason to prepare for your senior season?
CS: I am training and playing games with a team called Orange County Blue Star, a team in the Premier Development League. I also play on an indoor soccer team with some other college players. Other than that, just lifting and a lot of running. Not much of a laid back summer.
SCU: What are your expectations for yourself and for the team for the upcoming season?
CS: Our goals as a team are to win the WCC and ultimately, win a national championship.
The way we go about achieving these goals vary with the different players we have each year. Individually, as a senior, I feel inclined to bring leadership to the team. I'm pretty laid back so I'm not going to be the one screaming at players to run faster or lift harder. By the time our first game comes around, if I have a team who fights for each other every minute of the game, who are pushing themselves to their limits everyday, and who find a way to get wins, then I feel like I have done my job.
SCU: Have you met any of the new recruits? Do you think they will have a big impact this season?
CS: I have yet to meet any of them. I'm sure they are good guys though and without a doubt they will bring some talent to our squad and make positive contributions to the team.
SCU: What would winning the WCC Championship as a senior mean to you?
CS: Winning the WCC would be a great feeling as a senior. If this year goes well then I will have won it three out of my four years here, which would be a blessing. Anything that contributes to a good position in the NCAA Tournament is going to be meaningful to our team.
SCU: What has been the highlight of your career at Santa Clara?
CS: On the field, it is probably our two WCC championships, and Sweet 16 and Elite 8 runs into the NCAA Tournament. Playing in such an intense environment brings out the best in every player and it is nothing but fun to play in front of my friends and family.
Off the field, it has to be hanging out and having fun with my teammates and friends. Santa Clara is a close knit school as far as the social scene goes and it's been memorable getting to know everyone.
SCU: Is there anyone on the team that you could see making a big impact this year and having a breakout season?
CS: I think a lot of the rising sophomores have put in some good work in the offseason. I could see breakout years from any one of them. To tell you the truth, I could see breakout seasons from just about anyone on our team. That's just how talented we are. It just depends how things fall into place when game time comes around.
SCU: What are your plans after you graduate? Do you want to continue to play soccer?
CS: I am completely undecided as far as my future goes and I actually like it that way. Not knowing what is on the horizon makes me feel like anything could happen.
SCU: Are there any professional players that you would say your game resembles?
CS: I don't want to say that I am half as good as Maicon (of Brazil), but I like to push up from my right back position and get in on the attack. I also love watching Cristiano Ronaldo and Dani Alvez play.
SCU: What would you say is the biggest thing you need to work on to take your game to a higher level?
CS: To go to the next level I would just need to continue to get better technically. Guys at the professional level are able to deal with poorly played balls and make it look easy.
SCU: RAPID FIRE!!!
Favorite athlete: Cristiano Ronaldo and Kobe Bryant. Both are legends. Both have a ridiculous work ethic.
Favorite music group or artist: Above and Beyond
Ideal vacation spot: Huntington Beach, CA
One thing you would want if stranded on a desert island: SmartWater
Favorite place to eat: In and Out
Favorite TV show: Entourage
Dream Girl: Miranda Kerr (Australian Victoria's Secret Model)
Favorite word: Stink!