Walsh Leads Men’s Soccer with Game in Front of the Net

By AJ Martelli

Men’s soccer goaltender Martin Walsh is putting up staggering numbers this year, steering the Mavericks straight into a winning 2009 season.

The sophomore goalie has guided the Mavericks to their current 2-4 record with his 25 saves this year, a vast improvement over the 1-14-1 season the 2008 squad posted. Walsh feels more participation among the students is the reason for the Mavs’ success this year.

“We have a bigger squad than we had last year,” he said. “We already have two wins, which is obviously a step up from where we were last season.”

Walsh, an accounting major and native of Dublin, Ireland, played six years in front of the net for Palmerstown high school before making the transition to Mercy.

“My family went to Mercy College and that’s why I chose to come here,” Walsh remarked. “I also wanted a good education, so I felt Mercy would be a good fit for me.”

Comparing soccer in Ireland to the sport in the United States, Walsh was taken back by the expertise the Mercy players showcased when he made the switch from European football to U.S. soccer.

“At first, I didn’t think the game was going to be great, but the players are more physically fit here in the U.S.,” he stated. “These Americans can play!”

Along with playing for Palmerstown and the Mavericks, Walsh also competed for the Dublin Club Team in Ireland where he was a two-time Most Valuable Player Award winner. He was honored to be the recipient of the award twice.

“It was good to be named MVP,” Walsh said. “I just put together a couple of good seasons, my coaches recognized that, and my family was very proud of me.”

Continuing to rack up the accolades, Walsh was named ECC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 1, mainly because of his outstanding work against rival Concordia on Sept. 9. Against Concordia, Walsh recorded three saves and shutout the Bears in the Mavericks’ 1-0 win.

”That was the highlight of my Mercy career,” he stated. “Just to get the win was enough, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”

Looking ahead, Walsh sees himself still connected to the sport, possibly exploring a coaching career when his playing days are over.

“I would still like to stay involved with soccer when I am done playing,” he said. “I’d like to do some part-time coaching if I can.”

As far as the not-so-distant future, Walsh hopes to see the Mavericks in the playoffs at the end of this year.

“I’m hoping we finish in the top four this year,” he said. “I would like for us to make the playoffs and finish off the year strong.”