Sept. 20, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
In his first season in uniform for the Spartan men's soccer team, sophomore fullback David Hertel has been a key ingredient to a stingy Michigan State defense. A Holland, Mich., native, Hertel spent his freshman season at Kentucky, before transferring to MSU and red-shirting last season. Hertel not only brings a defensive presence to the lineup but an offensive dimension as well, often generating attack in the Spartan backfield.
Q: You played at Kentucky your first year, why did you transfer?
A: I was a little too far away from home and the atmosphere just wasn't what I thought it was going to be. I guess I just felt out of place.
Q: After settling in at Michigan State, how to you feel about the move?
A: I think the team and the coaches are great, everyone gets along. It's a pretty friendly environment.
Q: You were your team's leading scorer in high school, but play a mainly defensive position in college, how was that transition?
A: I was used to it. I was an attacker for my high school team, but for my club team and Olympic Development Program I played a more defensive role so it helped me make the transition when I came here.
Q: In the last few games, it appears that you are really a player that gets the offense started in the backfield. How important is it to get the attack started with the backfield?
A: Coach Baum likes releasing one of the defenders, either myself or Rauwshan (McKenzie), to give us a man up and that offensive edge when we attack. Both Rauwshan and I like to get on the attack whenever we can, and we both like to be offensive. We're ready to attack whenever.
Q: You often take throw-ins because of your ability to flip-throw, what does this add to the attack?
A: I can generate more power with a flip-throw. We can push the ball down the field more, and if we are in the final third, I hope I can find someone to get a head on it to score. (Greg) Janicki is a big target and Louis (Stephens III) is really good in the air, so it is just another thing added to our offense.
Q: What are some of the things the team has done to pick up the offense this year?
A: We have been working on the runs, but at the same time keeping balance. It is important that either Rauwshan or I stay back while the other attacks.
Q: What do you think the team strengths are this year?
A: We're a unit; we have a good, solid core of players that all want to play together and work hard.
Q: What are some things that the team needs to improve on?
A: We really take pride and work hard on our defense, so we are never satisfied. We know that there are times where we have defensive lapses as a team, where we should have stuck in harder or made a tackle to clear the ball. We are constantly trying to improve on making our defense tighter.
Q: Three overtime games this season - how do you guys keep going even when you have tired legs and it's been a long game? How do you work through it and hopefully get the last goal?
A: We just depend on our teammates. We try to pick one another up, and just go from there.
Q: You are an interdisciplinary humanities major - what exactly are you studying and what do you hope to do with your degree?
A: It's basically social sciences, so I take a lot of classes like sociology, religion, language and theatre. I hope if all else fails, I can become a high school coach or teacher.