Scott Lish '03 stars for soccer

by Sajid Huq | 11/7/00 6:00am

What do men's soccer teammates say about Scott Lish '03?

"He is one of the best defenders in the league. I can't recall him ever being beat in a one-on-one situation.

"He also reads the game faster and makes smarter, quicker decisions on the field. With the ball at his feet, he is an accurate passer and can knock 50-yard balls to players' chests."

That's high praise indeed, especially when it comes from the captain of the Dartmouth men's soccer team, Nick Magnuson'01.

But Lish deserves all the praise he gets for an outstanding 2000 season. His tenacity on the field, versatility with the ball at this feet and overall consistency have created quite an impression.

Lish stepped in right away last year and made a difference. He shifted positions pretty frequently, but settled at right back, where he has continued to perform well.

Magnuson added, "whatever Coach [Fran O'Leary] says or asks of him, he seems to pick it up quickly. For that reason, he'll continue to improve as a player in his remaining time here at Dartmouth."

Lish, like many other outstanding athletes, started the game when very young. He was five years old when he first played soccer, in Utah. When he moved to San Diego at the age of six, he remembers being able to kick the ball farther and run faster than anybody else.

The Dartmouth wanted to know what Lish had to say about himself, among other things. Here are some excerpts from the interview.

The D: What do you like about soccer and do you follow world soccer?

Lish: Well I like soccer because it is a sport that a person like me can excel at. I am small in general, but can think my way through a lot of the game without my size being a factor.

I enjoy watching soccer, but in general I don't follow soccer that doesn't directly affect me. I am beginning to change with the help of Tommy Billings '03, our English superstar, who also happens to be my roommate. He keeps me up to date with all the premiership scores and highlights.

The D: How did you become a defender? Did you always want to play in the defense? What do you think your greatest assets are?

Lish: I have been a defender as long as I have played. I enjoy personal battles against good attackers. I think I am the only person who enjoys one-on-one defending because I like reading the attacker and competing.

I am not creative with the ball, so attacking is something I don't really enjoy. I think that over the course of this year I have been able to adjust to playing outside back, and can attack up the sidelines, which adds a bit to the offense.

My greatest assets: my speed is something that I use to my advantage on the field. It allows me to take risks, and play some ways that other defenders can't. I also feel that I read the game well, and have good vision when looking to hit attackers. I have always been able to strike good balls with my right foot, and the fans seem to love it when I 'kick the ball really far.'

The D: What was high-school soccer like?

Lish: High-school soccer was fun, because it gave me a chance to play with my close friends from school. It was a completely different team than my club team, and I enjoyed a bit of time with new players.

It was less competitive with respect to the importance of it, but we all took it pretty seriously. It was also a good chance to play against some of the players that I played with during club soccer.

During high-school I kicked for my school's football team. It was the same season as soccer, and I did kickoffs and extra points. It was just something I did because they asked me to. I enjoyed helping out my friends on the football team, but soccer was always number one.

The D: How do you motivate yourself before a game?

Lish: I try to stay relaxed, because when I get tense, I tend to make mistakes during a game. If I relax I can stay serious during a game, but also be composed enough to play my game. I like to listen to music before a game.

It has to be upbeat, something that I can move around to and keep in my head for most of the game. It is not uncommon to find me dancing during warm-ups before a game

The D: Have you ever been seriously injured playing soccer?

Lish: Nope. I am a lucky one.

The D: How do you like Dartmouth? Why did you choose Dartmouth?

Lish: During my pre-college years, I took school really seriously. I wanted to get good grades and such, to put myself in a good position for later in life. When Dartmouth became one of my college options, my parents told me they would support me in whatever decision I made.

And when it came time to choose, Dartmouth was the clear winner. Plus, my favorite color is green.

The D: What do you think of the team this year? How do you rate your chances of winning the Ivy title?

Lish: The team is very strong this year and I really like all the guys. I think a lot of the players have matured and are more confident than last year.

It is almost as if we win because we think we can. We can win the Ivy League title, it is well within our reach and we just have to come out and play our game.

I think that Nick Magnuson is an incredible player for us. He leads by example, and sets the tone for every game we play. He is the hardest working player on the team and will do anything to get an Ivy ring this year.

I also think that Matty Miller '03, our center back from Milwaukee, is an great player. He is one of the most consistent and reliable players I have had the good fortune of playing with.

I think that Tommy Billings has had a fantastic year for us this year. He has been our best player in Ivy League games, getting quite a few game winning goals in crucial Ivy matches. It is very unfortunate that he has gotten injured and he will be missed on the left midfield.

I think the freshmen have all made a huge impact for us this year. Matt Labarre '04 has given us some strength and feistiness up front, along with a lot of goals. Damien Quinn '04 is a crafty player in the midfield who has come through for us in big games this year.

Robbie Daly '04 is an explosive forward who is a threat anytime the ball is at his feet. Seth Eaton '04 has stepped up big for us, providing us with attacking creativity and improved defense.

The D: Musical preferences?

Lish: Oh yes, finally a question more about myself. I really enjoy music.

I most like punk rock, and ska. It is not very popular music, and very few people on campus that get pleasure from the same kind of music I do, but freshman Damien Quinn is one of them. We share a bond, and take pride when others complain of the punk that we play in the locker room.

Some of My favorite bands are Face To Face, Promise Ring, Rage Against the Machine, Unwritten Law and The Get Up Kids

The D: Do you see yourself playing soccer after Dartmouth?

Lish: I do not see myself playing soccer after college. At this point in time, I do not have the ambition to play at a higher level. I see myself finishing school at Dartmouth and either continuing with my education or getting a job in the San Diego area, where I can be in the sun 365 days out of the year.