This is the second edition of Brooklyn Eagle Sports’ weekly Q&A with an LIU Brooklyn student-athlete. This is expected to be a regular feature for the 2013-14 season (you can read our first Q&A with Lucy Gunton-Jones here).
This week for the Q&A, we have Brian Alumbaugh, a 19-year-old sophomore on the Men’s Soccer team who hails from Northville, Michigan. Alumbaugh played in 17 games last year, getting few minutes at the beginning of the season before he eventually started and played the full 90 minutes in the final four games. He had one assist on the season that occurred during a 1-0 win against Mount St. Mary’s and he was a member of the NEC’s Fall Academic Honor Roll.
Brooklyn Eagle Sports: What’s your major and why did you choose it?
Brian Alumbaugh: “My major is sport science. I actually started in business finance, but I switched early last year because I had been training a lot, spending a ton of time in the gym and I realized that I would like to train other people and help other athletes. I was always scared of taking science classes because I was bad at them so it kept me from going into it earlier, but I decided to take the hit and do something I would enjoy.”
BES: Why did you choose to come to LIU?
BA: “I was at an academy showcase down in Texas where I met the soccer team’s coach TJ Kostecky. I was recruited by TJ to come on a visit and I really liked it; I really liked the city. Being in New York City is nothing like home, I really enjoyed it when I came out here.”
BES: Was going to college in New York something you always wanted to do?
BA: “No. Not at all. When I started my high school career, I never would have guessed that I would have ended up in New York City. I just liked the city, I liked the coaches and I felt comfortable with the players. It wasn’t a real hard decision.”
BES: Were there any other schools that you strongly considered?
BA: “The only other school, really, was Wofford College in South Carolina. It’s a small Division I school. It was between that and LIU and they are pretty much exact opposites. It didn’t really come close in the end. After my visit to LIU, I knew I really wanted to come here.”
BES: What was the recruiting process like?
BA: “I just met the coaches and players. I met the other recruits who are some of my teammates now. We came out and we all watched a game together, we hung out with the team some more afterward and the next day we went to the classrooms. That was pretty much it.”
BES: You were a four-year letterwinner in high school, an all-conference athlete all four years, named to the all-conference, all-district, all-region, and all-state teams as a senior. What was it like playing in high school?
BA: <Laughing> “That all sounds a lot better than it actually was. I really liked high school soccer because my high school would get lots of fans at the games and it was a really fun experience. We weren’t very good, we didn’t even come close to winning a championship, but had lots of kids that went on to play at D-I schools so there were lots of good kids around me.”
BES: Tell me about your first year at LIU.
BA: “At the beginning of the year I played like 20 minutes a game. My playtime fluctuated a lot, but I ended up starting the last 4 games playing 90 minutes. I came in as not a very good player, but I adapted as I went and I think the fact that I played so much at the end shows that I adapted well.”
BES: What’s the difference between playing ball in high school versus in college?
BA: “Definitely the size and speed of the players. In high school, at least as a senior, you are bigger than every other kid and then you start all over again in college where you are the smallest again. I was small kid and got knocked around a lot my first year. Just dealing with the size and speed was the biggest difference”
BES: You scored your first point against Mount St. Mary’s, tell me about that.
BA: “It was cool because it was one of our only games that we won, everyone was very excited. Other than that it was just an average goal.”
BES: Which team are you most looking forward to playing this year?
BA: “I can’t wait to play St. Francis, PA because they beat us pretty badly last time. I think we’ll have a better game this time around.”
BES: Give me your thoughts on this year’s squad.
BA: “I think we’ll be a lot better, everyone is working hard during the summer and keeping up with their workouts. Everyone will come in shape and be ready to go.”
BES: What are your goals for your second year?
BA: “I would just like to play in every game again. I don’t know what will happen with injuries, but i definitely would like to be apart of the All-NEC team. That has been my goal while in training all summer.”
BES: You spent the summer living in Manhattan, how did you keep busy?
BA: “Just played on a local PDL team here, The New York Magic, and been lifting and running. I work a lot, but I also work at the school’s admissions office so I work out when I can get it in. I’ve mostly just been playing with the summer team.”
BES: What’s been your favorite part of Brooklyn so far?
BA: “I really like Brooklyn Bridge Park, I’ve been there a few times to walk around and hang out. I really enjoyed that.”
BES: Where’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
BA: “I’m a broke college student so I can’t always eat out when i want, but I really like the Smoked Joint which is right down the road from school. I also like the Greene Bites deli.”
BES: What’s your favorite thing to do in Brooklyn?
BA: “I don’t really do much, I just do my homework and work out a lot. TJ, our coach, is really on our case with homework and papers so homework is the main focus. I had a C 2 weeks in to the season and he called me into his office. He asked me what I was going to do about it and it was only two weeks into school. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was going to do about it. I ended up turning it around though. With him on our butts it really helps out. If you don’t perform in the classroom, you won’t be able to play. It’s good motivation.”