Junior midfielder Dylan Bowman proudly represents Virginia’s Chesterfield County, where he became an all-state captain of the James River High soccer team. His career continued to flourish at Princeton when he saw significant playing time as a freshman and earned a starting role the following season. This year, the sharpshooter is one of only five Tigers who have found the net, despite the fact he has attempted just two shots. The ‘Prince’ caught up with Bowman this week to dissect the anatomy of euro-swag, kick some football lingo and attack the issue of soccer hair at its roots.
Q: Describe the team’s collective social role among the greater varsity athletic community. What does the men’s soccer team bring to the table?
A: We are a pretty cool, laid-back group of guys who can hang out with any group of people, really. We try and give back to the community through community service projects like “reading with the Tigers.” We love Princeton, and we especially love our fans. “The Brits” have been fantastic at all of our home games, chanting constantly and making the games really energetic and intense.
Q: “The Brits”?
A: They’re a group of fans who I believe live in London when not at Princeton. They’re used to going to English games, so they come to ours and chant and yell the whole game.
Q: If you and your teammates could challenge one other varsity team to a competition in their sport, which would you pick?
A: We actually played some of the field hockey team in a little field hockey scrimmage last year, and I’m pretty sure we won or tied. I don’t think we really played by the rules — we kept using the backs of the sticks — but it was a lot of fun. We would play them again any day.
Q: Which freshman has had the biggest impact on the field so far and how?
A: [Freshman forward] Thomas [Sanner] has been great, winning multiple Rookie of the Weeks [four in just five weeks].
Q: Off the field?
A: [Freshman midfielder Brendan] McSherry. He’s always dressed up and improves our team style.
Q: Last month in the ‘Prince,’ the Sanner brothers recounted their at-home wrestling matches. Have those made their way into the locker room?
A: No, but they are always partaking in some brotherly competition in one way or another.
Q: How has having a set of brothers around changed the team’s atmosphere, if at all?
A: It lifts the team spirit. The way they interact off the field and especially the chemistry they show on the field is a boost to the whole team.
Q: What is the most noteworthy pregame ritual your team or an individual teammate practices?
A: We build up a chant together in the team room before we head out onto the field. It gets everyone pumped up.
Q: Soccer is a sport that facilitates variations in style and one that relies heavily on the trendsetters over in Europe. Who has the best swag on the team and why?
A: [Freshman forward] Nico [Hurtado] plays with some Spanish flair on the field. He gets a million “megs” in practice. We keep a count of how many “megs” he gets in the locker room. [Sophomore forward] Cam [Porter], of course, has some special dribbling ability as well.
Q: Care to enlighten the football-illiterate community on what a “meg” is?
A: It’s when you put the football through another player’s legs and run around him to get it. They’re also called “nutmegs.” Look it up on YouTube.
Q: Sweet. Onto the more important question then — who has the worst swag on the team?
A: [Senior defender] Mark Linnville. Clearly.
Q: Along that same vein, how are hairbands generally regarded by the team? Is a player who gets his flow to hairband-length committed or just lazy?
A: Well, [senior midfielder Matt] Sanner had long hair last year and we teased him a lot for it. We all know it looked bad.
Q: Did the peer pressure get to him?
A: Nah. He just kept saying, “Haters gonna hate.”
Q: Which Princeton soccer player do Ivy League referees dislike the most and why?
A: No comment.
Q: Who is the best trash-talker?
A: Matt Sanner, but it’s mostly in a joking manner.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/10/04/31374/