Q&A with W. Soccer Jill Mastroianni
Sept. 19, 2011
Senior goalkeeper Jill Mastroianni had five saves in the Eagles' 2-0 win over 14th-ranked Virginia on Sunday afternoon. She broke the Boston College record for most career shutouts and wins and looks to continue to rewrite the record books as the 18th-ranked Eagles continue their 2011 campaign on the road against sixth-ranked Maryland, Thursday at 8 p.m.
Q: The team seems to work well together on the field, what has helped form this great team chemistry?
A: I think one of the main things is that our team has always been so close. The seniors want to get to know the freshmen, and I think the seniors got to know all of the recruits through hosting them. We break our season up into goals and phases, and one of our main goals in the first phase of every year is to make the freshmen feel comfortable and to help integrate them into the school and the team. So I came into freshman year already knowing half of our class; Alyssa, Julia, Alaina and I all played together before even coming to college. And we knew Kristie and Vickie, even though they're younger than us. I think the soccer world is so small that you know a lot of the people who you're going to school with, and we all have so much in common. What makes BC soccer so good is that our team is so close. You want to play for each other; you want to play for your teammates.
Q: What made you want to play goalie?
A: It was actually weird how it started - it was never, "Oh I definitely want to play goalie." I played on a boys' team, and they stuck me in goal one day just to see how I did. I had to go against a penalty kick in my first game and when they brought the kicker down from the other side, I remember the boy saying, "Just kick it at her, kick it at her and it will go in." He kicked it at me and it hit me right in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me, but I saved it. From then on I wanted to play in goal. So since I was 10 I've been training as a goalie and as a field player, and I played both all the way up until college. I knew goalie would take me farther, though, and is probably what I would play in college and at the next level. So I started training with goalie as my main focus.
Q: You said you played in the field as well as in net, so if you could play another position besides goalie, what would it be?
A: Probably forward. That is what I played on my high school team and on my club team. It's nice to score goals; I love saving them, but it's fun to get a little glory from scoring every once in a while.
Q: Looking back over the past four years, what has been your favorite part of being an athlete at BC?
A: I think the environment and everything that comes with it. First of all, I have been able to go to Boston College, which is one of the top academic schools in the country, and then to be an athlete here and play in the ACC, which is the top conference for women's soccer in the country, is incredible. Our coaches and our entire coaching staff is just amazing. We have Alison [Foley] who is like a mom to all of us off the field and one of the best coaches I've ever had on the field. Our assistants Mike, Kia and Neel are great and our whole team is just so close. I think all of the athletes have a bond; everyone knows everyone inside of Conte, and it gives you that feeling of a big family, that you're all in it together. We all support one another by going to the different sports games and I think it's nice that the athletes have that sort of bond.
Q: What is your one most memorable soccer moment from your time at BC?
A: I would have to say last year when we won in the Elite Eight to go on to the Final Four - that game just sticks out in my head so much more than everything else. It was the first time in program history and the Final Four is something you dream about going to. Only four teams get to experience it, and the same two teams are going to be in it every year. So to see the BC program go from where I was freshman year in the Sweet 16, to move up to the Elite Eight, and then to move up to the Final Four last year, it is just a huge accomplishment for the program to advance like that. I will always remember that Final Four game; it was a night game, it was snowing, we were freezing and we had so many fans there. It was 0-0 and we went into overtime. Hannah scored off of a corner kick and our whole team was celebrating on the field. Our team song came on, our coach was so happy, and we were all dancing. That was easily my most memorable time.
Q: You mentioned how you've had great success in the NCAA Tournament, what are your expectations for this year?
A: Like I said, Sweet 16, then Elite Eight, and Final Four last year, I think our senior class is putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to be that class that brings our team to a National Championship game. Our expectation is to get back to the Final Four, and nothing less than that. So that's definitely something we're aiming to do and working for. But it would be really nice to leave the legacy of making it to the National Championship, winning and being the class to make history in the program.
Q: Earlier, you mentioned the academic side of BC in addition to the athletic side. What is your favorite class at BC and why?
A: I would have to say that my Management Leadership classes are my favorite, since that is one of my majors. I love talking about that stuff, maybe because I'm an athlete and a captain and I'm able to use what I learn from that class. We had a "leading high performance teams" class that I really enjoyed because it was talked about how to lead a team and make them successful in the workforce, what you can do, and the different attributes needed as a leader. I think it helped so much in school and it's something you really need in a work environment and in the future, but I was also able to apply it right away to soccer and I think that's why I really liked it.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I would like to play pro. Right now I just want to win a National Championship, that's my main focus. But it's definitely an aspiration of mine to play professionally. If the league is still here I could stay, or maybe go abroad, but I would also love to work with sports marketing or for an advertising agency. Working for a company like Under Armour and doing some public relations and marketing for them would be great. So I have a few ideas, but nothing set yet.
Q: You recently broke the shutout record, as well as the record for the most wins as a Boston College goalkeeper. What would you say has contributed most to these outstanding accomplishments?
A: I've had great training through the years to build the technical and tactical parts of my game. Mental toughness had always been stressed with me when I was younger and I think that's something that I carried with me to college and developed even more. Coach Alison has really helped me in my four years here to become a better player and to increase my game even more. Learning how to communicate with my backs to prevent situations that could turn into goals has been very important. My parents have also always been so supportive, teaching me heart and passion and that fight and competitiveness which is such a big part of me as a player. Because I grew up with two brothers that played football, just by being the girl, through playing and training with them I developed that competitiveness. I had to take on the attitude that I am going to fight until I am the best, and I believe that is a huge part of what has made me successful here at BC.
Interview by sophomore Matt Moran