Name: Ben SlingerlandSport: Soccer

Position: Defender

Hometown: Beverly, Ma.

Class: COL ’11

High School Career: Three-year letter winner; named NSCAA/Adidas all-American as a senior, helping his team to a 22-0-2 record and a Massachusetts State Championship in 2006 recording 10 goals and eight assists.

Tell us a bit about your hometown: I’m from Beverly, Mass., 30 minutes outside of Boston. I usually get a lot of trash talk from the team because I’m the only guy from the New England area and [Assistant Coach Zach Samols] is also from the New England area so we kind of stick together.

Why Georgetown? Georgetown just stood out for me. Between its academic reputation and the rising soccer program and the location, just made it the clear choice. I really wouldn’t have chosen any other school in the country. . All three of those factors really made it an easy choice.

How is the dynamic within the team? The team definitely loves to have fun, but we’re also very serious on the field. We have a lot of jokesters on the team, a lot of clowns who like to make a lot of jokes, and that keeps things light. It’s about finding the balance. When we go on the road, the coach talks about “business trips,” but at the same time we love having fun. . We’ll have, you know, dance parties in the locker room; it’s a lot of fun. I don’t want to go in too much detail, but we have a good time.

Who is the biggest joker on the team? We’ve got a lot. There’s a lot of names I’d like to throw out there. [Sophomore defender] Len Coleman’s a pretty big joker, [senior midfielder] Corey Zeller, [junior defender] Mark Zeman. I think I’m pretty high on the list of jokers too, to be honest.

Has anyone on the team played a prank on you? There’s always funny stories, but last spring, I was one of three players who finished the best in [a competition created by the coaches], where there’s a points system and coaches release a table at the end of the week. It was [sophomore midfielder] Rob Burnett, myself and [senior midfielder] Sean Bellomy who were the top three guys. Coach Samols was keeping track of the points, and us both being Boston guys, the guys thought we were cheaters and that Coach Samols was rigging the system. So we got these really nice Georgetown shirts as a prize, and only me, Sean and Rob got them. And I had the shirt for about a week but I noticed that it went missing. And eventually it got out that someone on the team took it from me. It’s still an ongoing mystery – Corey Zeller has been telling me certain places and I’ve been looking for it everywhere but I still can’t find it.

How’s it like when the team travels to away games? Everything is very regimental and we have a very tight schedule. The coach wants everything to be perfect. At the airport, we’re pretty businesslike – we have to wear our polos and our khakis, and then we get picked up on the coach bus. . The coaches love showing clips of European soccer.

Do you follow European soccer? I do a little, but not as much as some of the guys on the team. My roommate [sophomore midfielder] Seth C’deBaca might follow it the most out of any guy on the team; he’s a big Arsenal supporter.

Who’s your favorite soccer player? Cristiano Ronaldo. I’m a big fan of him. I think he’s the most talented player in the world right now. He’s the most fun to watch, he creates so much. . Watching Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s like poetry.

If you could be good at any other sport, what would it be? I like that question. I’d probably say football. I never really got a chance to play organized football as a kid because soccer was always a fall sport and so was football. But it’s one sport that I love watching – I’m a huge Patriots fan coming from the Boston area. I just feel like it’s a sport I kind of missed out on as a kid. If I had the chance to do it again, I’d give football a shot.

What was your freshman dorm? Darnall. Me, Seth and [sophomore defender Ibukun Otegbeye] were the three guys on the team in Darnall and we became close friends. We always joked about how it was a struggle living there because it was so far from everything. We came to love it, and made great friends in the dorm. I’d probably would have liked to live in it this year with Epicurean right below. But it was fun. I liked Darnall a lot.

Booey’s or Wisey’s? Wisey’s. The Burger Madness is legendary, and I live in LXR this year, which is right across the street. There was a string of days [because of the norovirus] where Wisey’s was all I ate.

– Photo and interview by Hijab Shah

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