The Daily Pennsylvanian asked Ben Stitz of Penn men's soccer 15 questions about his sport, his time at Penn, and what he’s learned as a Penn student-athlete. Here’s what the senior had to say.
1. Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Ben Stitz. I am from Baltimore, Md. and I am a senior on the men’s soccer team.
2. How does it feel to be able to play again after last year’s canceled season?
Not being able to have a season last year was really disappointing, so being able to be around the team and compete again feels great.
3. How did you continue to play during quarantine?
I had a small group of guys from home who I was able to go to the field and train with. I was also training by myself a good bit.
4. When and how did you start playing soccer?
I have been playing soccer for as long as I remember. Both of my parents played soccer in college, so naturally they introduced me to the sport.
5. What is your favorite memory associated with soccer?
One of my favorite memories was in 2018 when I won the National Championship with my club team. Another one of my favorite memories was beating Yale in overtime back in 2019.
6. Your game against Temple on Oct. 19 marked the first time the team has won three straight games since 2011. How has this accomplishment motivated you and your team?
Going on a three-game winning streak was huge for the team’s morale, especially since it came after a tough loss to Cornell. As a team, I think we proved to ourselves that we can respond positively even after a tough result.
7. What is your favorite part of playing soccer for Penn?
My favorite part of playing soccer for Penn is being around [the] guys on the team. Obviously being able to compete in the Ivy League is a privilege and a great experience, but having a great group of teammates makes it that much more enjoyable.
8. Do you have any pre-game or post-game rituals?
Before each game I walk to the CVS on Walnut Street with my teammate RC Williams. I get a BodyArmor and a pack of crackers.
9. What is one thing on your bucket list?
One thing on my bucket list is to take an extended trip across Europe to sightsee and watch different professional teams play.
10. What’s the last show you watched and the last song you listened to?
The last show I watched was “You” and the last song I listened to was “Play It Again” by Luke Bryan.
11. What has been your favorite experience here at Penn?
My favorite experience so far at Penn has been being able to play for the soccer team.
12. What’s one unpopular opinion that you have?
Chipotle is better than Qdoba.
13. How do you feel like you have grown since starting college and playing for Penn as a freshman?
I have definitely become more mature as a player while playing for Penn soccer. More specifically, I think that I have learned to appreciate how important it is to do the small things right — both from a soccer and a non-soccer perspective.
14. What’s one piece of advice that you would give to those who hope to play Division I soccer in their future?
I would say be confident in your ability and to put your best foot forward every day. Those are two controllable parts of your game that you can work on every day.
15. Your next game is this Saturday, Oct. 30 against Brown. What are you doing to prepare for it, and what can we expect?
We are going to have a good, full week of training in order to prepare for our game at Brown this weekend. Brown has always been a tough team to play — especially away from home — so it should be a good game.