Aug. 27, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Junior goalkeeper Kira Maker enters her second season as a full-time starter and carries a 0.47 career goals-against average, a figure that would rank No. 2 in Stanford history.
Maker has a strong presence in the net and, as coach Paul Ratcliffe said, "The team feels very secure with her in goal."
Q: How different will it be this season with two new starters in defense?
A: It's definitely going to be different without 6-foot tall Allison Falk to clear a lot of stuff out of the air. So, for me personally, it's going to be a lot of setting up for more of the air balls and more of the stuff in the box. But as far as our backline goes, once we get more experience, we'll be set and able to step up where we lost last year.
Q: What have you seen from freshman defenders Alina Garciamendez and Rachel Quon so far?
A: It's really fun having Rachel on the outside because she's like (senior left outside back) Ali Riley, she's fast and can get forward. And Alina has a great presence, so we'll see. It'll work out well.
Q: Hawaii had only four shots against you in the first game, but scored two goals. Was it a matter of communication or getting on the same page with your defense?
A: We're definitely not used to conceding two goals in a game. It was a shock for us. But it was good to go through that. It's more of getting used to playing with each other and working the freshmen into our style and sorting out the kinks. It was a good first game to learn from and improve how we defend.
Q: Are you going to take on a more vocal leadership role with the defense?
A: I definitely feel like I need to be more communicative, helping to keep the backline more organized. We don't have (graduated) Marisa Abegg back there to do that anymore, but we do have Alicia Jenkins organizing more in the back, so that's great. It's also different to be the oldest goalkeeper on the team. I've always had someone above me until this year.
Q: This would seem to be a great environment for a goalkeeper, with goalkeeper coach Jay Cooney and volunteer assistant Nicole Barnhart, a U.S. national team keeper, on staff. Do you feel you have great resources to make you better?
A: That's the best thing about the training environment. To have Barnie here is fantastic. It's great to watch her play and to learn from her. And, with Jay, every day he can pick out a little technical thing that we would never notice on our own. Each day, we're picking up something new and helping us break our old habits and progress forward. Getting to work another year with Jay is really going to help.
Q: You have two freshman goalkeepers here, Lindsay Dickerson and Aly Gleason. Do you feel like a mentor?
A: I hope I'll be able to help them out the way that Erica Holland and other girls have helped me. So, hopefully I'll be able to fill that kind of role for them too.
Q: Is that something that older players did when you were starting out?
A: When I came in as a freshman and had Erica, or Barnie beyond that, it really helped. Erica had a great work ethic. Just a lot of her good habits she passed on. It was overwhelming for me at first, and she helped to calm me down. I'd like to do a little bit of that for Lindsay and Aly.
Q: Are there individual goals that you can work on at this point in the season?
A: For me, it's making sure that I have a presence in the goal, and in each game making sure that I'm relating with my backline, position-wise to make sure we're playing how each team is attacking. The main thing is just to get better each game.