Maurer makes an impact in men's soccer

    The UCSD men’s soccer team improved 10-3-1 overall after their 1-0 non-conference victory on Oct. 20 over Chapman University. A large part of the success they are enjoying this season is due to the consistent play of freshman forward/midfielder Brett Maurer.

    Anna MacMurdo/Guardian
    In the clutch: Freshman forward/midfielder Brett Maurer leads the Triton menÕs soccer team in game-winning goals, including two double-overtime goals.

    Maurer, who graduated from Agoura High School in Agoura, Calif., has started every one of the team’s 13 games in his inaugural season. In these first games, Maurer recorded four goals and four assists. Three of his four goals have been game-winning goals, two of them coming in double-overtime. He leads the team in game-winning goals and is also the second leading scorer on the team.

    Suffice it to say, he has had very little trouble adjusting to collegiate athletics.

    “”It’s more hard work, more practice [and], it’s a lot more physical,”” Maurer said. “”I like the travel. There is no school and no distractions on the road.””

    Lynsey Gebelin/Guardian
    Brett Maurer Freshman Midfielder/Forward, UCSD men’s soccer

    Learning to balance school and sports is one of the challenges that face freshman athletes in their first year. UCSD men’s soccer head coach Derek Armstrong commented on this difficulty.

    “”Brett is wonderful,”” he said. “”Schoolwork has gotten in the way a little. When the season started, he was a full-time soccer player, and now the schoolwork is affecting him a little bit. But it’s part of the process.””

    The coach also commented that as the season has progressed, Brett has become more used to the workload and is better at balancing his time.

    “”He’ll be back to his ‘A-game’ soon,”” Armstrong said.

    Maurer wasn’t sure what his role would be at the start of the season, but he quickly settled into a groove.

    “”I actually expected not to be starting,”” Maurer said. “”But it’s good to be out there. I’m excited about being on top of my game.””

    Armstrong and teammates alike were impressed with his ability from the get-go. He scored a goal in his very first game at UCSD against Azusa Pacific. Senior captain and midfielder/defender Ryan Blair was impressed by his performance in that game.

    “”Coach Derek showed a lot of faith in him and started him in the first game,”” Blair said. “”He showed everyone he could play. He’s one of our go-to guys.””

    Maurer attributes some of his success and his adjustment to the team captains and seniors on the team.

    “”Ryan [Blair] and Jon [Shum] and [Ryan] Mizumoto have really helped me,”” Maurer said. “”They encourage me and are always there for me. They’ve been unbelievable this season.””

    UCSD is nearing the end of the season, and Maurer has high aspirations for the rest of this year, and for his next three years on the men’s team.

    “”I look forward to winning a national championship,”” Maurer said. “”Whether I play or not doesn’t really matter that much to me.””

    Armstrong expects him to continue to be a large factor in the team’s success for years to come, as do many of his teammates.

    “”I expect him to play and start all four years,”” Armstrong said.

    The team has two more games before the end of the regular season, and then California Collegiate Athletic Association championships begin. The NCAA Division II playoffs start on Nov. 11.

    The team hopes to continue the success that they have enjoyed throughout the first part of the season, and Maurer will almost certainly have an impact on the team’s triumphs in postseason play.

    Regardless of how the team fares for the rest of its schedule, Maurer has proven himself on the field with his remarkable play. Armstrong acknowledged the tremendous impression that Maurer has made.

    “”He’s had a heck of a good season, a heck of a good season!”” he said.

    Even teammates recognize the unbelievable season that Maurer has put together. Blair didn’t mind making a prediction of his own about the freshman.

    “”He’ll probably be the freshman of the year in the conference, no doubt about it,”” Blair said.

    Most importantly, Maurer loves to play the game. He has a good time on the field, and he enjoys all aspects of the game, from the glory of scoring goals to the monotony of running.

    “”I like that there’s lots of running, and I like to score a lot,”” Maurer said. “”It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun.””

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