Freshman Mark Daus Ready For Soccer Season.

By Kaitlin Fuelling, '13

Tomorrow, the Bronco's men's soccer team will play their first match this year against the University of San Francisco.  Mark Daus (MD), a freshman from Plano, Texas, has had some experience with tough match-ups, as well as success.  In 2009, he led his team to a 23-1 record and anchored a strong defense that allowed only three goals during the 2010 regular season.

SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCU) took some time to talk with Daus about his experience and the upcoming season.

SCU: As you begin your first season here at Santa Clara University, what do you see as the benefits as well as challenges as a student-athlete?
MD:
Coming into a completely different environment than what I was use to back home I knew I would have to make a huge transformation in my life. I believe being an athlete at such a prestigious university in academics and athletics will give me many opportunities for life after college. Being in the heart of the Silicon Valley allows me the chance to establish many connections to the companies out here if I choose that route. However with the great tradition and history the sport programs have here, I give myself the opportunity to play sports after college as well. Unfortunately these benefits don't come for free. I will have to learn to manage my time to get my studies in order as well as making sure I am able to perform at the highest ability on the field.

SCU: Are there any individuals on or outside your team that you find inspirational or look up to?
MD:  If it wasn't for my two sisters I don't know where I would be right now. I try to live my life the way they do. I go to them with every major or minor problem I am facing day in and day out. With both of them playing soccer at Penn State, it allows me to use them as a resource for time management, soccer and all-around life.

SCU: How did you begin playing soccer?  Were you always an avid defender/midfielder?  Do you have a preference in positions?
MD: I began playing soccer at 4 years old. Whenever my sisters had games I would always bring my own soccer ball and be playing by myself on the field next to theirs. I guess it was sort of in the blood. Until I turned 12 years old I was scoring the goals, not stopping the goals. My coach decided that we didn't have any defenders so he just threw me back there and I guess he saw something special and ever since I have been a defender. I don't really care where they put me but one quote has always stuck with me being a defender, "Forwards sell the tickets but defense wins the championships." So I would have to say defender may be my choice.  

SCU: Were there any particular events or tournaments that were memorable?
MD: Winning National Championship when I was 16 with the Dallas Texans. Also, being crowned both Texas state and National Champions last year for high school at Dallas Jesuit.

SCU: What do you believe allowed you to become the player you are today?  Do you have any goals for your first season?
MD: I believe my club coaches have made me the player I am today. Hassan Nazzari really pushed me in ways that I didn't think were necessary, but it turned out he knew exactly what he was saying. He has changed me from being a person who plays soccer into a soccer player. My goals for the year are to adapt to the new system, win the WCC and from there make a strong run in the tournament and see where it takes us.

SCU: Do you have any pre-game superstitions? What is your pre-game regime?
MD:
I always have to listen to country music before the game. Some people like jumping around with rock and rap to psych themselves up, but I like to keep a calm stature and take in some Texas country.