Nov. 5, 2009
Stanford junior Bobby Warshaw has played a key role in the resurgent season for the Stanford men's soccer team this year. The Cardinal are currently tied for the top spot in the Pac-10 and hold a No. 19 national ranking. Warshaw has teken on a new position this season, playing central defense, and leading the Cardinal to just a 0.94 goals against average. Warshaw has also stepped forward into the attack to score a team-leading six goals, including four game winners.
The Mechanicsburg, Pa. native took a few minutes to answer some questions for gostanford.com.
What has been the main reason for the success of the team this year as compared with last year?
We have more fight and energy in the team this year. The personality of the players hasn't changed but the attitude around the practices and locker room is different. We've learned that we need to bring the right mentality to practice to make sure we have it on the weekends for games. We understand that if roll up our sleeves and bring more energy than the other team then we are going to get a good result.
How do you like your new role as a central defender?
I like any role that involves winning! I played a couple of positions the last couple years and didn't help the team get wins so any position on the field is nice when we are doing well. It probably fits my personality and role on the team a little better than the other options.
You have scored several goals on set pieces this season, is that something you practice/take pride in?
We were worried coming into the season about our lack of size and being able to defend set pieces so we focus a lot more on defending set pieces than attacking. I think it's a pleasant surprise to all of us that we've scored so many goals on attacking corners and free kicks. It summarizes the difference in our team this year. Last year we (including myself) might not have been willing to run into players and dive around the box to get our head on the ball, but this year every one will go the extra step to help us win.
How important is beating Cal in the final game of season both for pride against your rival and postseason implications?
Beating Cal would be huge for the postseason but we also have important soccer things to work on. Regardless of Cal's recent struggles, they are still a very good soccer team. We want to play well and show improvement in the areas that we've been struggling with. We are going to work hard in practice to improve our passing and attacking play and the game against Cal will be a good test of our growth. More importantly, we feel that we've let people (fans, alumni, coaches) down a little bit in recent years and a big win against Cal late in the season should send people home with a smile.
You seem to be the vocal leader of the team, have you always been that way or something you developed?
I've always been a talkative guy on and off the field but I don't think I was ready or mature enough to translate that to being an effective leader on the field. As I've gotten older, I have learned the best way to use my skills (in this case communication and vocal) to help the team. We all have roles on the team and my role happens to be providing a vocal presence. It's not about attempting to being a leader, but instead just doing my job. Sometimes the team needs someone to organize or yell and I fill that role.
What has been the biggest transition in coming from the East Coast to California and Stanford?
I get a lot of comments about my button down and polo shirts. I've added a couple v-necks to the wardrobe, though, to fit in a little better. The California guys are a little more laid back too. It took them a little time to get used to my East Coast competitiveness. And my mom tries to call in the winter and convince how wonderful the snow at home is but it's a tough sell.
You are a political science major, are you planning on getting into politics?
The more political science classes I take, the less I want to get into politics.