Santa Clara men's soccer captain Peter Lowry recently was named WCC Co-Player of the Month for September after helping lead the Broncos to a 5-1-2 start this year. He sat down for a Q&A with SantaClaraBroncos.com this week.
You had a big game in the overtime win against UCLA two weeks ago, tying the match in the 86th minute to send the game to overtime. What does a clutch performance in a big game like that mean for you and how do you think that win will help your team as you're preparing for the start of conference play on the road this weekend?
"It's kind of the climax of our season so far. It's what we've been building up for all year. There was a lot of fan excitement and it was a huge boost for morale. It was a game that we had been building up towards and it will be a boost as we start our conference schedule."
You start conference play this weekend at LMU and Sand Diego coming off a win and two-week break. How have you been preparing for the second half of the season and what do you think will be the keys to keeping up the success of the first half of the season?
"These next games are really going to be a grind. We are trying to work hard every day and work for each other; we've really been building a strong camaraderie in the past weeks. We have to realize that there are no easy games. We can't do what we did at Brown (SCU lost 2-1); every game will be a grind."
As a team captain, what do you have to do to motivate and lead your team through day-to-day practices and workouts, especially the younger players who may not have the experience you have?
"We have two other great captains (Matt Hatzke and Jamil Roberts) who also really try to keep everyone working hard at practice every day. We push our guys and keep the energy level high to try to get everyone better every single day. It's all about getting better each day."
As a captain for a No. 3 nationally ranked team, there are expectations and pressure that come with that status. Do you feel like there is pressure on your team to maintain the ranking and continue a winning season?
"It's a target on our backs. We go through the preseason knowing that we might get highly ranked and now that we are, we cannot be complacent. We cannot slack off."
As a team, what do you think it will take to maintain your success through the second half of the season and maybe get a shot at an NCAA title?
"We just have to make sure we win games. We have to work hard and keep building on our wins so far. Winning conference means getting a bid in the NCAA, so we have to win games.