Aug. 14, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. - Senior Alivia Mazura is one of three returning starters to Cal's backline in 2006. Last season, she helped the Bears post a school record 0.475 goals-against average and tie Cal benchmarks for shutouts (14) and goals allowed (11). Mazura, who hails from Newport Beach, recently sat down with CalBears.com to discuss the upcoming campaign, which begins at the Wisconsin Invitational Aug. 25 and 27.
CalBears.com: What are your goals for your senior season and describe what you feel the team's potential is this year?
Mazura: "Going into my senior season, I am solely focused on the team and what I can do to contribute to our team's success. Aside from making sure I am a consistent outside back that my team can rely on to always show up ready to play, I want to use my three years of college soccer experience to help bring the team to the next level. I want to go out with a bang. At this point, we have only completed nine training sessions, but the team is already showing character on and off the field that I believe will take us further than last year."
CalBears.com: What's it going to be like to have your sister, Jessica, on the same team with you this year?
Mazura: "I played with my sister in high school when I was a senior, and she was a freshman, and it was nothing but fun. Since the college level is way more competitive and intense, we definitely won't be joking around as much, but it's still exciting to look around the team and see her in Cal soccer gear. We're best friends, so I feel lucky to share my last year with her."
CalBears.com: You've been a defender, midfielder and forward during your time at Cal. Do you have a favorite spot?
Mazura: "I never thought I would say this, but outside back is by far my favorite spot. Our backline has been successful, and we have developed a tight bond with one another. We work together and depend on one another, and I really could not imagine not playing with them back there. It's exciting to have to mark some of the best forwards in the country, and it bring such a rewarding feeling when we refuse to let anything get by us."
CalBears.com: Was it a tough adjustment for you to move to the backline? Do you miss being involved in the scoring more even though you're encouraged to come forward from your outside back spot?
Mazura: "It was tough to make the transition to the backline in the beginning because I was a freshman, and Kevin (Boyd) pulled me back there for the last game of Pac-10's against Stanford. It was pretty intimidating to be put back there at first, but once I got the hang of it, I ended up laughing at the fact that I actually thought I was a forward. Scoring is definitely always fun but because my mentality has shifted so much, defending the goal and not getting scored on is more fun for me now. It's nice that Kevin gives us the OK to be creative and go forward when it's on. It adds variety to our attack."
CalBears.com: Would you play goalkeeper if you were asked to?
Mazura: "If it ever came down to it, I would play in the goal if that's what was best for the team but only if Anna (Key) plays left back. However, I'm not known to have good hands, I would probably end up trying to stop everything with my feet."
CalBears.com: When will you graduate and what do you hope to do with your sociology degree after graduation?
Mazura: "I'm on schedule to graduate Spring '07. I'm not quite sure what I will do with my degree, or if I will even do anything with it. It makes me anxious to think about getting a real job instead of running around on the field all day, so I choose not to think about it. I'm sure I'll give it a lot more thought when the time gets closer."
CalBears.com: What have been some of your favorite highlights of your Cal career so far?
Mazura: "There have been plenty of games that I will never forget playing, and there have been practices where everyone is working so hard and the intensity level is so high that I will always remember. But I think some of my favorite highlights of my Cal career come just from being around the team. We are a unique bunch of girls, and everyday there is always something memorable to walk away with. All of us really are best friends, and when there are that many girls together so often, there are bound to be many funny experiences and times to remember. I've had the time of my life with these girls."
CalBears.com: What do you enjoy doing when you're not playing soccer?
Mazura: "I have found that there is not that much time to do outside activities while playing a college sport, but I do enjoy coaching little girls. Especially in the spring time when we're not in season, I train younger girls teams. It's always rewarding to be able to share what I know with little kids who look up to me. I am also interested in journalism and graphic design. I think it would be really cool to work for a magazine and do layouts and design."