Wes Culver Aims to Repeat
Redshirt junior Wes Culver (WC) enjoyed a breakout season as a key member of the Bronco men's soccer team. Culver anchored the Bronco defense and provided an offensive spark, scoring three goals and adding three assists. With the 2011 season set to begin, santaclarabroncos.com (SCB) talked with the All-WCC Honorable Mention about defending the WCC Title, his role on both ends of the field and his use of Twitter.
By: Vince Menon
SCB: How are you preparing for the upcoming season? What are you looking forward to most?
WC: This preseason has been a grind, but everyone came in hungry and ready to play, so everyone has been able to focus on what we need to do. I am looking forward to showing all the SCU students, fans and parents who we really are: WCC champions.
SCB: Your first game is Sat., Aug. 27th at 7 pm vs. Stanford. How do you plan on turning the tables after a 4-1 defeat to the Cardinal last year?
WC: This year we have returned a lot of our starters and the team has all grown tremendously. Our plan is to focus on our game and the rest will take care of itself.
SCB: After a slow start, the team came on strong losing only once in your final 14 regular season contests. The team built on this momentum by winning the WCC Tournament and making it to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. How are you going to defend the title and what are your team goals for the season?
WC: Last year was a good year without a doubt, but our goal is to build on that success and come out with something to prove every game. The ultimate goal is to be playing in Alabama at the final four for a chance at the title.
SCB: You took advantage of opportunities, scoring several goals off free kicks. What is the key to your success in these situations?
WC: After many repetitions and practice of free kicks, I find that slowing down and visualizing my goal before taking a free kick helps me be more successful.
SCB: As someone who is involved offensively and defensively, what type of mentality and awareness do you need to have?
WC: As a defender, my No. 1 role on this team is to prevent goals from being scored on us. But, if I see an opportunity to get forward and support the attack, I'll take it, whether it means making long, overlapping runs or taking set pieces.
SCB: After starting 13 games and appearing in 15 you sat out the last four games with an injury. How do you stay in shape while avoiding injuries? What role do your coaches play in this aspect of your game?
WC: Practicing and playing soccer everyday is what keeps you sharp and fit, so it's important to be pro-active and get treatment from the medical staff in the training room when you need to. Our coaches always make sure that we are taking care of our bodies, seeing the trainers, and getting icebaths.
SCB: Your brother Shaun recently graduated from Stanford in the Class of 2011. What kind of relationship do you have and how was it competing against him?
WC: The two of us have always grown up playing on the same field, with and against each other, so playing against him in college was nothing out of the ordinary.
SCB: What was it like for your parents when Santa Clara and Stanford played each other? Who did they root for?
WC: They enjoyed that they got to see both of us play on the same field. But I am pretty sure they were always rooting for the Broncos.
SCB: We hear you are on Twitter. What do you enjoy most about it?
WC: I enjoy using twitter as a source for news, to talk with my friends and follow my favorite athletes. But I always appreciate new followers! Follow me @dubculver_23.