The UC San Diego men's soccer
team has gone through its peaks and valleys this season and is currently .500
on the season (8-8 overall / 7-7 CCAA). On a team with no seniors and laden
with underclassmen, sophomore Cory Wolfrom has become a stalwart in the
midfield for Jon Pascale's squad. Wolfrom currently leads the Tritons with five
assists on the season and has accounted for five points in UCSD's last three
games. Prior to his team's final two regular season matches against San Francisco
State and Cal Poly Pomona, Wolfrom dropped in to discuss how his team has put
this season in perspective, how his role has changed and teammate Andrew
Q-This year's team is a very young. You have no seniors and a majority of your starters are sophomores and juniors. How do you think youth plays a role on this team and what's it like knowing that you're going to have most of your players back next year?
WOLFROM-We all have a great bond. Last year was a bit tough between all the seniors and underclassmen because there was that junior year with no one there. We were definitely waiting for this year to happen and of course we're looking forward to being back next year. We want to do well this year because however well we do this year, we're going to improve upon it next year because it's the exact same team. It feels good, we look at each other and we all know we're young. We're going up against a bigger, older force, but during the game we don't think about it. It's definitely one of those unspoken things on our team. We're those young guys, let's go prove something.
Q-It's fair to say this year has been a little up and down for your team. You had a three-game winning streak, followed by a four-game losing streak, and then you came back to beat Humboldt State and the CCAA North's top team Sonoma State last weekend. How has the team put this season in perspective and what's the mindset going into the final weekend?
WOLFROM-Those three weekends were rough, we don't like to talk about them. Going into that weekend (at Chico State, October 7) we knew we had a good chance, but those games are going to come back and bite you. After every game, after every one of those, you just kind of have that sluggish feeling of like, "Oh man, that's going to bite us in the end." And it happened. The only thing we could do was stay positive. We love playing at home, there's that feeling about being at home with the fans that definitely helps. We're definitely looking forward to our final two home games. We'll be going at it, everyone will be out there working their butts off. The early goal is key for us. If we can score early, we can be dangerous.
around in the midfield somewhat this year, but have been used mainly on the
outside. What's the midfield's role in your team's 4-4-2 and how do you see
your role within the team?
WOLFROM-On defense, my job is to force the other team to the middle where we can compress and attack them in the center of the field. If it gets out wide, I'm coming to back-tackle their opposing forward with our outside back. So our outside back stops him from turning and forces him to go back into me so it's a double team right there. On the attack for me, I get wide. If I do get wide, it opens up space in the midfield for me to check-in and then combine with the center midfielders to get forward and get behind the defense. Then, find those gaps when they're not paying attention and play it
WOLFROM-I feel like assists are just as good as goals. It takes a good lay-off to get most good goals. When I am unselfish, I don't know, things work out. Seeing things work out makes me want to pass more and give us more opportunities. Setting up guys is almost more fun for me I suppose. We have an attacking force and we're getting forward this year, so I just need to find those guys.
Q-With practices, workouts, film sessions and travel, you spend a lot of time with UCSD's coaching staff. What's it like interacting with your coaches and what sort of things have you learned from them to become a better player?
WOLFROM- [Assistant Coach Ryan] Hernandez is always bustin' my butt. All of them are always pushing me to do my best and take guys on. I guess one might call me an unselfish player; they are always telling me to be a bit selfish and do my own thing. It helps. They have a good vibe. They are there to push you, but also be your friend. We're all friends, they're not like these older guys who are always trying to be strict on you. You do have a relationship with them, you do bond with them and they make you feel good.
Q-During the season, what sorts of things do you do off the field to take care of yourself so you stay in top shape on the field?
WOLFROM-Go to the athletic training room, get stretched and lots of ice baths. They have a thing called 'game ready' that I use, it's like compression and ice. The night before a game, I'm pounding a lot of water. The athletic trainers gave me a tip: if you take salt packets- like one from a fast food restaurant- right before the game, it's like a little sodium boost right there. Definitely bananas and coconut water, too. Coconut water is the secret.
Q-To play at the Division II level, it takes a certain level of skill. When did it become apparent to you that you could play in the intercollegiate realm and what steps did you take to make it to UCSD?
WOLFROM-I had a club coach in U-14 and U-15 that was telling me that I should keep going for it and try to play in college. His story to me was his family wasn't that rich and soccer could help make money and get a free education for him. That story kind of prompted me and made me want to work harder. Since then I've been trying to play in college, and then the whole recruiting process started and it became real.
Q-UCSD is well-known university for its academic prowess as well as its success in the athletic arena. How do you balance the rigors of schoolwork and time on the field?
WOLFROM-It's tough if you have a lot of classes. I know practice is in the morning, so at the end of the day, I take a nap, and then I get my homework done. It's tough though for sure.
Q-There are rumors that UCSD may move to Division I. Of course, there are upsides and downsides to that situation. What's your take?
WOLFROM-I'm all for it. I'm fine with playing DI. I think it'll bring a little more spirit to our school. I mean you see UCLA and UC Berkeley, they have DI sports and they're at the same type of academic level as UC San Diego. We have the same amount of kids. I want this school to turn into something like that. We have a great location, we have a great alumni and fan base, but it's all just a start. I'm all for it. We'd play better teams. There would be more pressure on the games and we do well under pressure. When we go on the road now, there's no one there. When we come home we have one of the best crowds around. When we go DI, it will only get better.
Q-Soccer is a global game. Do you follow international soccer? Who do you cheer for and why?
WOLFROM-Barcelona for sure because they don't have the biggest players but they know how to pass around guys. They're all on the same page, they literally know where everybody is at all times and they don't really play the college style- rough, win the ball in the air. They want to get it on the ground and play around you to get you tired. They're a lot smarter and they know they're going to win.
Q-When not on the soccer field, what do you enjoy doing around San Diego?
WOLFROM-Going to the beach and FIFA is one of the top things. Going to taco and burrito shops. Rigoberto's is probably my favorite. California burritos for sure. I'm planning on going snorkeling in La Jolla Cove after the season.
Q-What's the best part about being a member of the men's soccer team at UCSD?
WOLFROM-I'd say winning with the team. When we win, there's definitely that bond. It's cool going into the locker room after we've won, everyone is joking around and laughing. Everyone is just in such a better mood, it's crazy how winning changes things. Having all these friends on the team makes it even better when you win, just that whole bond is really great. You know it's like, "Hey I won for you, we played for each other." It's just something really special.
Q-What's the deal with Andrew Keimach's mustache?
WOLFROM-It's a good look I guess. He's the man. Keimach can make us all laugh. He can even get into it with Jon (Pascale) which is great because we love it when a guy can go at the coach. Every game, to make it look nice, he puts wax on to make it stand up a little bit better and stick together. Sometimes I help him.
Q-Your team has become sort of a cult internet sensation with its 2010 music video. Who's idea was that and why do you think people have taken a liking to it?
WOLFROM-One of our alumni, Shane Micheil was all about that. We wanted to do a music video because we saw Cal's. It sort of inspired us to do one too. Once we found a song, Shane printed out the lyrics for everyone and we went on a trip and he handed them out. We did stuff on the plane and all these guys had different ideas for it. I wasn't in it a lot, but I guess I was definitely around. It was funny because it was actually a hit on campus. People were like, "Oh there's that kid in the pink sunglasses" (Taylor Wirth). It goes to show we're all friends. Yah we do play soccer, but we're all buddies. Soccer is just the thing that brings us together. I mean, we talked about doing a video this year and I hope we do by the end of it. We'll get on it, we got fans out there waiting.
Q-Believe it or not, there's a life after college. What do you think lies in the future for you?
WOLFROM-I don't know yet. I'm hoping to be a businessman as cliché as that sounds. I'm an Economics and Math Major right now. I just want to get a job and start a family after. Do the normal life; I guess that sounds fine to me. I want to take my kids on vacation. That's what I want to do- just be a laid back dad coaching sports, start a family and go on vacation.
Previous Q & A Articles
Ellen Wilson (Women's Soccer) October 1, 2011
Brian Donohoe (Men's Water Polo) September 4, 2011
Roxanne Brunsting (Women's Volleyball) August 19, 2011
Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer) August 4, 2011
Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer) August 4, 2011
Vincent Nguyen (Tennis) July 1, 2011
Patti Gerckens (Softball) May 26, 2011
Blake Tagmyer (Baseball) May 11, 2011
Theresa Richards (Women's Track & Field) April 27, 2011
Austin West (Men's Tennis) April 17, 2011
Matt Herman (Men's Swimming & Diving) March 12, 2011
Christine Merrill (Women's Track & Field) June 14, 2010