How I Play The Game: Mike Moranz
By Julia Evans ’14
Athletic Communications Assistant
How did you become a goalie?
I’ve been a goalie since I was 12, but I played other positions when I was younger. I used to play forward and midfield. There were only two goalies on my club team, and one of them quit, so I stepped in and have been in that position ever since.
Did you know you wanted to play soccer in college?
Yes, it was the biggest part of my college search.
How does being in goal differ from playing on the field?
In every way. Laughs. Seeing the whole field, and everything that goes on makes you feel more important because you can feel the pressure of the game—that’s my favorite part. The feeling of being able to change the game is a cool aspect, whereas in other positions you have to rely on having the ball or being around the ball to have an influence.
What’s the biggest pressure you’ve felt during a game during your time at U of R so far?
Probably during our NCAA game my freshmen year, or our game at Carnegie Mellon also Fall 2010. It was a make or break game for us. I played one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life at Carnegie Mellon against the Tartans. In the first half, I made a b save on a free kick, and all my teammates told me it was a great save. Saves like that are what gives me and the team momentum boosts throughout the game to keep us going. One goal always makes a difference whether it’s us going up a point, the opposing team going up, or tying—it always impacts the game.
What’s the dynamic between you and your teammates when you’re in goal?
Communication is one of our biggest responsibilities as goalies. We have to organize, strategize, and keep everyone together. We have to make sure everyone is keeping pressure on the ball and that everyone is marked up. As for dynamic, since we’re directing the players on the field, there needs to be the mutual understanding that we respect one another as athletes and teammates so no one takes it personally.
How do you get along with your teammates off the field?
We’re really close. We had a suite last year and we’d all watch English Premier League games together on weekends.
What are practices like for you and how do they make you a more effective goalie?
We have separate practice times for specific goalie training but we also practice with everyone else to better our footwork. Even though our job as goalie is more focused on eye hand coordination we have to understand how to move our feet as well. That understanding helps us to better communicate with our teammates on the field.
How do you best improve your skills as a goalie?
Really just playing games and doing it as much as possible. You can do drills over and over but there’s nothing like being put in a situation in a game. You have to adapt to so much in a game because you never know what’s going to happen beforehand—you have to be a quick thinker.
Do you ever miss playing in positions other than goalie?
Yeah I do. I try to play midfield whenever I can. It’s good to have some variety and do something different.
What’s your relationship like with your coach?
Coach Apple’s a good coach. He knows what he’s talking about, he’s tough, asks a lot from us, but is very passionate about the sport. Since he’s a Rochester alum, his passion highlights the positive aspects of soccer, and he takes a lot of pride in coaching us to success.
What’s your major?
Do you have a favorite professor?
I’ve had a lot of professors I’ve liked, but haven’t had any really close relationships because I’ve only had professors one time, which makes it harder to get to know them. I have a good relationship with Professor Gamm, even though I’ve never taken a class with him, he’s my advisor and I’ve been able to talk to him a lot. He was there to help me plan my schedule during my freshmen pre-season, so I’ve known him since I arrived at U of R. He’s very smart and he keeps you on your toes.
Read more University Athletics stories here.