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The Chronicle Sports

A 11 September 8, 2011

Hofstra’s fancy footballer brings a taste of Europe to the States By: Max Sass EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

He’s tall, athletic, suave and British. You expect him to walk into the room and introduce himself as, “Foster, Shaun Foster.” Okay, he doesn’t quite have James Bond’s hair, 007 status, hubris or cult following, but he sure is smooth. The dress, the talk. Yeah, Foster’s smooth. “Not really,” Foster said, “But I feel like Americans might think so, just because I’ve got an accent.” But Foster is smooth. He has a way with words, just as he does with a soccer ball. “Shaun is a cool man,” Foster’s head coach Richard Nuttall said. “He’s got what we call in England, the gift of gab. He can relate well to people in all areas, on the field and off.” Foster can’t relate with quite everyone. He has meshed well with his teammates and made friends, but there are some American things he just doesn’t get. How they dress for one thing. “American wear clothes that are a size too big for them, we [Europeans] feel,” Foster said,

“and I feel Americans look at us as if we are wearing clothes that are a size too small.” Or the way they talk to him. “Most [Americans] struggle to speak to me without going into a British accent at come point during the conversation,” he said, “and usually it’s something from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” He’s smooth and funny. “I’m just a regular college student who’s trying to do well at soccer, trying to do well in class and trying to make friends,” Foster refutes. He’s far from regular on the field. Foster was named Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year last season and selected as this year’s Preseason Player of the Year. “It’s an honor,” senior defender Tom Bekas said of playing with Foster. “He has great communication skills and undoubted ability. He makes the whole team better with his presence alone.” Foster has been named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List, one of 42 players up for the honor as the nation’s best player. The honors were somewhat unexpected. Foster was highly

regarded entering his freshman season, but following the graduated Rich Martinez, who was a CAA Defensive Player of the Year himself, was a tall task. The two have incredibly different styles of play. Martinez wouldn’t reach six feet standing on his toes and was a firecracker on the field, pushing up and adding to the offense. Foster, standing an imposing six foot, two inches tall controls the back line and is a steady safety net for his goalkeeper. “Richie’s style was more athleticism, speed and power,” Nuttall said. “Shaun is more leading the game, stepping in, where to hold, when to drop.” Why doesn’t Foster play the way Martinez did? “I suppose I haven’t really got it in me,” Foster said. “I think he was a lot more athletic than I was in the sense that he was a lot more mobile, he was definitely quicker.” Foster’s style of play has produced immediate results. The Pride surrendered more than two goals only twice during the regular season (though William and Mary scored four times in the CAA title game) and recorded nine shutouts. Even without Martinez’s speed, Foster has managed to stay aggressive, sometimes too aggressive. He was suspended for a game last season after recording five yellow cards and has already been booked with a red card in this young season. “I’ll never back out of tackles, I’ll always play aggressively on the field,” Foster said, “but that’s the way it is in England. You’re aggressive on the field, you curse a lot, but obviously over here you’re not allowed to do it and I’ve got to learn to deal with that.” This season Foster plans on using that controlled aggression to take his team to the NCAA Tournament and he’d trade all the accolades for that. “I would gladly give away my four awards from last year to have a ring with my teammates,” he said.

The Chronicle File Photo

Don’t let the look off the field fool you. Foster is a tenacious defender on the field that has received national attention for his play.

Back Cover: Michaela Papa/The Chronicle

Foster thinks he can teach a thing or two to some Americans who think they are fashionable.

Men’s soccer sophomore defender Shaun Foster sporting his European style.

Michaela Papa

The Chronicle File Photo

Though he is a sophomore, Foster is proving himself as a team leader.

The Hofstra Chronicle: September 8th, 2011 Issue  

The September 8th, 2011 issue of The Hofstra Chronicle, the student newspaper of Hofstra University on Long Island, NY.

The Hofstra Chronicle: September 8th, 2011 Issue  

The September 8th, 2011 issue of The Hofstra Chronicle, the student newspaper of Hofstra University on Long Island, NY.