Q&A With Soccer Goalkeeper Sam Cameron
Sept. 26, 2003
Senior goalkeeper Sam Cameron took some time before practice to sit down and talk to odusports.com about the Monarchs' 7-0-0 start, his seven game shutout streak, what he does off the field and more.
Prior to this year, you had eight career shutouts. This season, you already have six shutouts in the first seven games (Sam played 70 minutes in the Monarchs' 6-0 win over Longwood). Why do you think this is?
The team's a whole lot better. This is definitely the best team we've had since I've been here. Trevor (McEachron), Ian (Kaila),Brian (Kluckman) and I were getting used to each other last season, but this year, we're on the same page and we're more acquainted. You could see that last night (against UMBC) when Trevor got that save, we're on the same page this year.
Do you have any plans of playing soccer after you leave ODU?
Not really. I have an internship lined up for the spring with the JMU athletic department, doing game-day operations. I'm a sports management major, so that's right up my alley, and I can see if that's what I really want to do. That's about as far ahead as I have planned so far. I might like to get into coaching at some point.
What do you feel is the biggest win for ODU so far this season?
Stanford. It was early in the year and that's about as hard a road game as you can get, travelling to the west coast and playing the #5 team in the country (at the time of the game). It gave us so much confidence, that we could play with these big teams. It was huge.
Last year, the team went 10-9-1. What's been the key for the Monarchs' fast start this season?
I think making the NCAA tournament last year really helped us. It changed our team, getting the shutout against Richmond in the first round and playing Wake Forest as hard as we did. We lost in the end, but we gained more confidence and we developed more trust and respect for each other. We started to believe in ourselves more. I think that's really carried over to this season.
What's been your most memorable moment as a Monarch?
The first seven games this season. The Cal-Berkeley tournament was a lot of fun. I have a lot of family out there. The success we've had so far this season has just been great. Before this year, I'd say making the NCAA tournament last year. It's Coach Dawson's goal each year to make it to the NCAA's and we were able to finally do it, for the first time since I've been here.
How did you get interested in soccer?
My mom wouldn't let me play football. Nobody in my family played it, and I was really good at it. Plus, I'm from Raleigh, which is a huge soccer area.
What is a typical day like for you?
I usually get up, some days around 5:30, but usually by at least 7:00 or 8:00. I live with a family from my church in Virginia Beach that has high school kids, so you can't sleep too late. I volunteer a lot with my church, so I usually hang out with some of the people in my church group before my classes start, either 11am or 1pm. I'm taking 12 credit hours this semester. Then, I have class, I have weight lifting, then it's soccer. Goalies get out here a little early for practice.
Before college, you attended the Adidas (Bollettieri) Sports Academy. How was that experience? How did you get into it?
The sports academy is in Florida. It was started by Nick Bollettieri as a tennis camp. Venus and Serena Williams played there, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, others. Then, they started adding other sports, and now IMG has purchased it and they have just about every sport. I had a friend in Fayetteville, NC, where I stayed for a year, and his parents sent my friend and me there for the summer camp. They gave us the option of staying there longer, and I loved it there, so I stayed. During the summer, it's soccer all day, then during the year, we had classes in the morning and soccer for the rest of the day.
What made you decide to attend ODU?
My junior year in high school, my goalkeeper/club coach was Justin Terranova. That was in Fayetteville. During that year, he got the assistant coaching job at ODU and I wanted to follow him. I didn't really look at too many other schools. Justin was here my first two years, then he went to Methodist. Plus, I heard a lot of good things about Alan Dawson.
You were named CAA Player of the Week this week. How much do individual awards mean to you?
They're nice, but it's really a team effort. I'm not the reason we haven't allowed any goals this season. Trevor, Ian and Brian are a big part of our defensive success this year. You always try to be the best defense you can be, and your goal each game is to get a shutout. It's nice, but I don't put too much weight on it. It's a team effort.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend most of my time volunteering with my church. I'm very active there and I work a lot with the youth.
Sam Cameron and the rest of the Monarchs will play Saturday at Campbell University. ODU is currently ranked 4th in the nation, the highest ranking in school history.