Cougar of the Week: Matt Sherman

Matt Sherman (‘19) has emerged as a key cog in Clark Men’s Soccer’s defense in only his first year on the team. He sat down with The Scarlet to talk about adjusting to college, the struggles of this season, and playing more than he expected to.

Photo taken by Julia Schroeder
Photo taken by Julia Schroeder

Scarlet: Tell me how your season has been.

Sherman: The season’s been really fun so far actually, and the guys on the team are super nice. It’s been a big transition from high school to college – traveling on coach buses, getting all the gear and apparel – but it really has been a cool and eye opening experience. The team has been really supportive and the coaches are as well.


Scarlet: What sort of adjustment has it been from high school?

Sherman: College soccer is a lot more professional, and it’s taken a lot more seriously. It really boils down to winning games and qualifying for tournaments. There is a bit more pressure on you, but at the same time everyone on the team including the coaches are really supportive. Also the level of competitiveness is really different from high school.


Scarlet: Do you enjoy knowing that, as a member of a large class, you’ll have this huge group of friends to share the memories with?

Sherman: Yeah it’s definitely a great feeling, especially coming into college and not really knowing anyone but yet right off the bat you have a group of people you can count on. This year we have nine really good freshman, and we are all really good friends. I consider most of them my best friends. It’s really nice to know that throughout most of my career here at Clark, socially and athletically, I am going to have a really good group of friends. They are really a strong group of guys to count on!


Scarlet: What do you find difficult about playing college soccer over high school soccer?

Sherman: Without a doubt, it has to be time management, and really learning to focus on certain things. For me I have to space out doing certain things either athletics or academics. I really try to manage my time and not get burnt-out, so sometimes it’s good to, at least for me, to space out doing certain things. Like tonight I have to get my chemistry work done. I really don’t want to, but I know if I do it now I will be able to get my other work done and I will be prepared for my class. It’s really doing the work when you have free time, not when you feel like doing the work.


Scarlet: What are you involved in outside of soccer?

Sherman: Nothing really! I am kind of boring. I just do my schoolwork and play soccer. But I really want to get involved with the Pre-Med Society.


Scarlet: Do you have any hobbies?

Sherman: Other than soccer, I like to play other sports.


Scarlet: What other sports?

Sherman: Squash and racquetball. Another hobby of mine is just getting involved with professional groups that lead to thought provoking conversations. The only one I can think of right now is the Pre-Med Society.


Scarlet: The season’s unfortunately coming to a close. Is there anything that you are planning to do in the off-season?

Sherman: Yeah, I will definitely go to the gym with a couple of the other guys to get stronger and fitter for the next season.


Scarlet: Were you not as prepared as you wanted to be this season?

Sherman: I was kind of prepared, but I definitely want to get stronger, and in general I want to get more fit and better because it can only improve my performance.


Scarlet: You guys have had a really tough season, you’ve come so close to winning a couple games to only lose in overtime, and during family weekend Yousef Shahin (’18) broke his leg. How have you guys moved past this adversity?

Sherman: It’s definitely been hard, but we’ve come together as a team. Sometimes we literally sit down and discuss what our goals are and what our ambitions are. As a team we’ve rallied around each other and rallied around people who are injured, and use that as inspiration to propel us further. This season has been tough and we’ve been really unlucky, but we know that we are right on the brink of major success. So as a team we’ve discussed that we want to focus more and we want to get faster, quicker, and technically better. That way, when it comes down to the rest of the season or next season we will have the success we want.


Scarlet: Did you set any goals for yourself for this season?

Sherman: Yeah. For me, I definitely wanted to start at least one game.


Scarlet: I noticed that you and a couple other first years have been starting in a lot of the games.

Sherman: So the way it’s worked out is that me and Kyle Krutis (’19) have been playing defense a lot, and Julian Feshbach-Meriney (’19) spends a lot of the time as a striker. I’d say it was really a shock to me to see how much time I got to play, and I really appreciate that coach just plays who he sees fit. It doesn’t matter what class you are in. Another thing that’s really cool is that the guys who don’t necessarily start are really supportive. They want to see you succeed, and see the team succeed. For me to start more than half the games is really a big deal, and it’s really inspiring especially coming in as a first year. I am really excited to be doing this and I look forward to the years to come.


Scarlet: Looking forward to the future, what do you hope to accomplish as a member of the men’s soccer team in years to come?

Sherman: In years to come I definitely hope to have the team succeed to the point where we make a NEWMAC tournament and make NCAA tournament, at least while I am here. I know we have the potential, and everyone on the team has similar ambitions to my own. Throughout my years here I hope we have a lot of success and show we are a top class team.


Clark Men’s Soccer will take on Wheaton at home on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 12:30 p.m. in what will be their last game of the season.