Oct. 29, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford men's water polo goalie Jimmie Sandman, the reigning MPSF Player of the Year and currently second in the conference with 8.75 saves per game, took a few minutes to chat with gostanford.com. Sandman talked about Stanford's great start to the season, what it's like playing goalie, and about why he decided to go with the mustache for the 2009 season.
You guys are 15-1 so far this season and won the first 11 games of the year. What are some of the keys to the team's great start this season?
I'd say everybody on the same page as far as offensive attack. We have a very counterattack-orientated mindset, and that feeds out of our great defense. That's kind of what got us on a roll early on.
Because you played all last season and had a great year, how much easier was it for you to be ready for this current season, as opposed to last year when you were coming off of a redshirt year in 2007.
It wasn't that bad coming off a redshirt last season because we had the off-season league. It was actually maybe a little more difficult coming back into this season because the team was off in Croatia and I was off at a different tournament. So getting back into this program system was a little bit more difficult, so it's kind of the opposite of what you would expect.
You're averaging 8.75 saves per game this season... can you describe what its like to have a split-second to stop a shot traveling at a high rate of speed right at you?
First of all, I'd like for that to be up around 10. That's the goal we're shooting for. I didn't know it was that. But yeah, it's not something you really think about. I was just talking to Coach [Jonathan] Barnea the other day. The way you're able to be an effective goalkeeper is to not have to think about anything while you're blocking it. As far as trying to recall what it feels like to make a split-second save, it just becomes instinct and its more of the feeling after of, "Yeah, I just dominated that shot."
Last year, you went with the full beard for the season, and this year you've gone with the Magnum P.I. mustache. What was the thinking behind going with the `stache this year?
This team kind of has fun with facial hair, and I thought about doing the beard again, but 1) I didn't want to do a repeat performance of that, and 2) its pretty rough to deal with a full beard. [Jeffrey] Schwimer did the mustache last year and we kind of both said "if you do a mustache, I'll do a mustache," and we've kept it. We've also got [Ryan] Kent and Cody [Wiesen] onboard, so its kind of a little portent of mustaches.
You also know who Magnum P.I. is, right?
I do, yeah
Finally, how much of a hit has the `stache been around campus this year? What's the best compliment you've received on it so far?
I think Magnum P.I. was a good one. Somebody told me I looked like [Steve] Prefontaine, that's a good one. It's a big polarizing thing. It's mostly guys saying "Yeah, sweet mustache! I love the mustache! I'm trying to grow out mine as well." And then the girls are like, "Why do you have that thing?" So, typical responses.