Oct. 17, 2007
BERKELEY, CALIF. - Senior goalie Mark Sheredy is one of the Golden Bears' five returning All-Americans from the 2006 national championship squad. Sheredy was spectacular in Cal's thrilling 7-6 victory over USC in the title match, recording 12 saves to help him earn first-team All-America and NCAA Tournament MVP honors. This season, the San Jose native has the Bears in contention for another national crown with a 16-2 mark entering this weekend's matches at UCLA and Pepperdine.
After traveling to Southern California to compete against the Bruins and the Waves, Cal returns to Spieker Aquatics Complex to host Long Beach State at 12 p.m. on Oct. 27, and Santa Clara at 1 p.m. on Oct. 28.
CalBears.com: How is this year's team responding to being the defending national champions?
Sheredy: "We've taken a position that we are not defending anything. What we earned last year is in the past and can't be taken away. This is a different team with new possibilities and we don't want last season's success to influence this season's potential."
CalBears.com: Has a special rivalry developed between Cal and USC since both teams seem to always face each other in tournament finals?
Sheredy: "Absolutely. This rivalry is easily seen in any debut between the two teams. During the summer league things got really heated in the Nationals tournament so we knew it was preview for the upcoming season. I feel there is an enormous amount of respect between the two teams and we look forward to facing USC again later in the season."
CalBears.com: Is there any added pressure being one of the team captains this season?
Sheredy: "I think that it definitely adds some pressure. I don't want to let anyone down as a team leader, or a player."
CalBears.com: What do you enjoy doing besides playing water polo?
Sheredy: "I enjoy auto racing and baseball, being outdoors with friends, and enjoying what time I have left here at Berkeley. I think my favorite detour to life in Berkeley is a trip to San Francisco."
CalBears.com: What do you hope to do with your American studies major?
Sheredy: "My emphasis with the American studies major has been business and international politics. I would like to find a career that utilizes both studies into something competitive and interesting. Hopefully a career that involves traveling around the world."
CalBears.com: Tell me about last year's national championship match. What were your thoughts when Jeff Tyrrell made his last second shot after USC had just tied the contest?
Sheredy: "Honestly, with all the commotion, I was still thinking about the match going into overtime and how I was going to meet that challenge. I definitely believed it was a legitimate goal, but I was keeping myself prepared for the worst."
CalBears.com: How was your adjustment to Cal after transferring from West Valley Junior College?
Sheredy: "Well, nothing happened over night. Developing as a player took an entire year and then some, extending all the way into last year's season. Transferring to a Division I program from a junior college is still a considerable transition and I really needed to fine tune my technique and strength to become a more confident player."
CalBears.com: Do you have any Olympic aspirations?
Sheredy: "I would be honored for an opportunity to play for my country."
CalBears.com: What has it been like to play for head coach Kirk Everist and goalie coach Sean Nolan, both who have been members of the United States Olympic team?
Sheredy: "Playing for coaches who were masters of the game really instills confidence when it comes down to those last second plays. My success can be easily attributed to the knowledge and ability of Sean Nolan as a goalie coach the past few years. Sean, Kirk and Boyd all bring an impressive amount of knowledge to the pool deck on a daily basis. But, as great as Kirk and Boyd both know the game, without Sean as a goalie coach I never would have been able to excel as a Division I athlete. His guidance was important in helping me understand the dynamics of being a goalie. Being physically able to compete is just as important as being mentally prepared to play, and Sean has been a fantastic mentor at both levels."
CalBears.com: Are you looking forward to hosting the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament and defending your MPSF crown? Do you enjoy playing at Spieker Aquatics Complex?
Sheredy: "The MPSF Tournament is undoubtedly the deciding factor in our fate this year. It secured our bid to the NCAAs last year and we will be setting a goal to repeat this again. Being at home will be a nice change, as we will have traveled a lot this year by the time we get to MPSFs. Spieker Aquatics Complex is definitely a special place, it has a great atmosphere with its one of a kind design and architecture, and it has been proven to be an exciting venue."
CalBears.com: What advice would you give someone considering playing water polo at the University of California?
Sheredy: "Work hard in practice, study hard in school."