Nov. 16, 2005
The Bulldogs host Stony Brook in the first round of the NCAA College Cup on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium. Alex Munns, Yale's leading scorer, recently took a few moments to answer some questions from the Yale Sports Publicity Office about the College Cup and his experience at Yale.
SPO: What went through your mind when you learned that Yale had been selected to host a first round game?
AM: After seeing that Brown had made the tournament, I didn't think there was any way the committee could keep us out. That being said, I was still swept up with emotion, just like the rest of my teammates. Being rewarded for all of our hard work this season is probably the best feeling.
SPO: Describe your feeling after beating Princeton and then learning that Dartmouth and Brown had tied to give Yale a share of the Ivy title?
AM: I initially thought it was a joke. After learning that it wasn't, I felt that it was a fitting way for the regular season to end. This team has found a way so many times. Why not have a little bit of luck to find a way again?
SPO: What are the keys to Friday's game?
AM: The key on Friday will be the same as every other big game we've played this year. We enter the game knowing that if we play well tactically and mentally, then we'll be in a good position. We need to make sure we don't beat ourselves. If we do that, then I think we are as formidable a team as there is in the tournament.
SPO: What are the keys to the success the team has enjoyed this year?
AM: Our team is a great mix of experienced older guys and skillful younger guys. The seniors have been great leaders this season, especially Shannon Brooks. It was hard to lose him [to injury] so early in the season, but having him around has helped guys realize how important this organization is. I'd say the bedrock of the team is built on our center backs, Jake Miller and Jordan Rieger. Everything we do is done with the knowledge that those two are back there to cover us. Sometimes they bail us out with great individual defensive plays and other times they start the counter attack. I can't say enough about them both. After that, Gage Hills and Ryan Morrissey have played at a different level for the last few games of the season. Gage's speed and Ryan's savvy give us a different look up top and keep opposing defenses on their toes. Finally, some new guys have really matured into their positions this year: Eric Geiger at goalkeeper, Tyler Guse and Alex Guzinski in the center midfield and Jon Carlos at right outside midfield. These guys all brought unique contributions to the team this fall.
SPO: What is your most memorable moment from the season so far?
AM: Beating Brown at home was great, but personally, I enjoyed beating Drake even more. I'm from Des Moines, Iowa, and I have played with or against most of the guys on their team. That game felt like a fun, intense practice back at home.
SPO: How would you describe your experience playing soccer at Yale?
AM: It's difficult to say, exactly. Playing at Yale has been frustrating at times and euphoric at others. I think this organization has helped me mature as a player and as a person.
SPO: How did playing for the Premier Developmental League Des Moines Menace last summer help prepare you for the 2005 Yale season?
AM: I suppose the most obvious answer is that it was detrimental since I broke my face in a PDL game and had to miss the first two games of the Yale season! Aside from the injury, the Menace was a great experience. Winning the national championship restored some faith in myself that I feel I had lost in the first two seasons here at Yale. As any athlete can tell you, being an underclassmen and having to wait your turn is not easy. But playing with great players from top universities like Creighton, Michigan State, Kentucky, Drake, and Notre Dame was a great experience, and I hope to do it again next summer.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity