Sitting at .500 with its first Ivy League matchup just seven days away, the men’s soccer team hoped to take the win over local rival University of Rhode Island Saturday to build momentum heading into a very important week. Bruno (5-3) did just that, edging URI (3-6-1) 2-1. The victory was powered by two goals from midfielder Matthew Chow ’19. One of the two goals was a spectacular overtime score that clinched the win for the Bears.
His freshman year, Chow was a constant in the Brown lineup, starting 15 of Brown’s 16 games in the Bears’ 2015 campaign and scoring three goals. Now in his second year, Chow brings added experience and poise to the midfield position. Never has this been more apparent than against URI with his pivotal role in the team’s win.
For his game-winning efforts this weekend, Chow has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.
The Herald: It’s overtime, a golden goal situation. What’s going through your mind?
Chow: I honestly thought that we were going to get (the goal) soon — sometime near the beginning of overtime. I didn’t know who was going to get the goal. But they were tired, so we came out pretty strong, pretty intense in the beginning of overtime. We calmed their pressure, and I was able to score.
How did it feel after you scored the game winner?
It was sort of a sense of relief because those are really tough minutes. It was a grind for the whole game because both teams played with pretty high pressure and intensity. So it was definitely a sense of relief, but also having scored two goals for the team, I was quite proud of myself — proud for the team and what I could provide for them.
You started almost every game last season. Again, you’re assuming a pretty big role. Could you talk a little bit about the transition to sophomore year?
As a freshman, everything was new and, well, fresh in a sense. You’re not really familiar with anything, and it’s hard to get into games early, hard to be active early. As a sophomore for me, being able to be a bigger impact early on as opposed to floating around is really good.
How is the preparation and mindset different for the team going into its first Ivy League game against Columbia?
The Ivy League games are a must-win kind of mindset. Everyone is more in-tune and focused on winning the Ivy League and qualifying for the NCAA Championships. So when it’s Ivy League season, I feel like everyone turns a certain switch on.
What are some expectations you have for the team this season?
Just to win the Ivy League and get the ring. We definitely thought we deserved to win last season but just had some unlucky breaks, which cost us a little bit. And I feel like this year we have a stronger team and a better style of play — not so much kick and run but possession-based. And I think that all works in our favor.
It’s surprising that Ivy League games do not go into PKs, don’t you think?
We were third in the League last year, but it was really tight. We had a couple (of) ties. I think there should (be penalty kicks) to determine who wins. I don’t like ties. I’m not a big fan of tying. It’s frustrating.
What drew you in to play soccer here at Brown?
The official visit had a huge impact on why I decided to come to Brown. I had offers from a number of schools, but I actually only went to Brown. It was my first official visit and my last. I really like the atmosphere, the locker room chats, watching games and talking with the coach. The official visit was really the biggest part of my decision.
So, when did you start playing soccer and what do you love about the sport?
I actually started playing soccer when I was six, so I don’t even remember what drew me into the sport. But whenever I watch soccer, or documentaries about soccer, I feel like it’s an art. There are so many amazing aspects of the game that, even outside of practice, are not involved in other sports.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.