By: JOHN BOGLE AND GRANT KEATING
Men’s soccer juniors Andrew Doar and Jack Hilger comprise an athletic, artistic and dynamic duo. Both eager to start Ivy League play this upcoming Saturday, they sat down with ‘the Prince’ to discuss the commonalities and quirks of their personalities.
The Daily Princetonian: To start off, where are you from and what’s it like there?
Andrew Doar: I’m from Brooklyn, New York. Great town. I moved there right about the right time in my life, when I needed a little freedom. I was 14 years old. It’s a great place to come of age.
Jack Hilger: I’m from Hopkinton, Massachusetts. It’s a small town: not a lot of people; not a lot of stuff to do. But it’s where the Boston Marathon starts, that’s a big deal to us for that one day of the year.
DP: Which position do you each play?
AD: I’m a sort of left back or left midfielder. One of my special qualities is I just can run. That’s why I play there.
JH: I’m sort of an attacking mid. And I can’t run.
DP: You had mentioned a funny story about you two running together.
JH: Oh ya, when we went to [Doar’s] house and tried to run this summer. And Doar said “We’ll do a three-mile run, and I’ll set the pace. You just follow.” And I had lost him within the first half mile. He had gotten so far ahead of me that he had climbed up in a tree and was just hanging out looking for me as I came back to the house.
DP: What would you say your respective social roles on the team are?
JH: I’m the ideas guy. I’m all about the creativity. I just throw out ideas and some of them don’t land. Some of them do. It’s just thinking outside of the box.
AD: If you look at our email chain or text thread, a lot of times you have 10 straight messages from Jack. No responses. All ideas. His best idea so far this year is for our fantasy league: The loser has to wear ski boots for three days to class.
JH: That wasn’t my idea. It was Sarge’s idea, actually. I’ll take it, though.
DP: Where do you see the other guy in 10 years?
AD: I see Jack living in Hopkinton, probably somewhere in between fisherman and Boy Scout captain.
JH: Probably not inaccurate. I definitely see Doar a little overweight and with a real sweet wife. His main responsibility is getting the kids to practice on time every day. In the big van.
DP: What would you say is the other guy’s greatest strength, on and off the pitch?
AD: Jack has titled himself, on the soccer team, the “Pass Master”. He’s very good with his feet and making plays happen with his cleverness on the field. That’s his greatest strength.
JH: I’d say Doar’s ability to cover ground. He’s super high-energy and goes into tackles really hard. He’s a defensive machine once you let him off his leash. If he’s playing right wing, he’ll make tackles on the left side of the field. And intangibly, Doar can find the nicest thing about anybody. Somebody can be a terrible person and he’ll find something good about them.
AD: Jack’s a conversationalist. He can take any situation no matter how awkward and talk through it, get everyone laughing. That’s why I always have him around.
JH: Doar has asked me to come with him before knowing an awkward situation is pending.
DP: Who’s the quirkiest guy on the team?
AD: First of all we have [junior midfielder] Nico [Hurtado], El Sneako. He scored a goal the other day. He’s very quirky in that he cannot sleep unless it’s pitch black. So he has this great king bed in his room in Spelman and he puts curtains up all around it, so you never know if he’s in there.
JH: We have a lot of quirky guys on our team. All of the goalies are quirky, maybe it’s a goalie thing. They’re just weird dudes. Besides that, [junior midfielder] Brendan McSherry’s got one. He brushes his cleats with a toothbrush before games. Toothbrush and toothpaste.
DP: What’s the other guys spirit animal and why?
AD: We talk about this a lot.
JH: We actually have a team animal, me and Doar. As a team, we’re a wolf. But for Doar, something small and fast.
AD: A jackrabbit?
JH: Yeah, you’d make a pretty good jackrabbit.
DP: Can you describe your relationship with the watercolor palette?
JH: Doar and I wanted to live together this year. We were planning on a two-room double, but it turned into two side-by-side singles this year with the intent of putting both the beds in one room and having the other be kind of like a of play space. That allowed for our preseason hobby. Doar brought his watercolors. And we watercolor together.
AD: Jack, he’s the speed man. He’ll whip something up and just compliment himself on it until he and I think it’s good. I’m very slow and methodical, I sketch things out and take my time. But Jack loses patience. I don’t think Jack’s ever seen a finished work of mine.
DP: You’re on a deserted island and can take three things, what are they?
AD: Flavor Ice. That’s ice pops, my favorite food. Sunscreen. That’s big for me with my fair skin, and probably the game “Catchphrase.” Wait, it’s deserted. That’s stupid, you’d have no one to play with.
JH: I guess you wasted it. I’d maybe bring cooking supplies and one of those big lavish tents with a hot tub inside. Like Harry Potter tents. What else?
AD: I think matches would be key. I wasted a lot of time in my childhood trying to start a fire with that rubbing technique.
JH: I’d bring Doar along to keep me company.
DP: Do you guys have any noteworthy pregame rituals?
AD: The only thing is I don’t listen to music. I think it’s very interesting how guys put their headphones on and get in the zone that way. But I find music gets me out of the zone.
JH: When I was younger, I was really OCD about my pregame ritual. There were certain songs I’d listen to in an order. And I wouldn’t talk to anybody. But that doesn’t bother me at all now. Probably just a bunch of dancing around in the locker room.
DP: If you guys could play a different varsity sport here what would it be?
JH: I’m pretty confident I couldn’t play any sport other than soccer. I have no genuine athletic ability. It’s only soccer skills. We have an IM basketball team and I come in a suit with a clipboard. I’m the coach. Just for being on the team with the guys, I’d probably be a heavyweight rower. They’re all really good dudes and I’d get a good workout in and look a lot better.
AD: I think I’d do an individual sport, maybe tennis or squash. Tired of having to deal with guys like Jack.
DP: What has been your proudest moment on the Princeton soccer team?
JH: For me, a lot of my favorite times — times that I’ll remember forever — have been off the field hanging with the guys. Just doing what are probably dumb things and messing around. I think being part of the team is way more than just being on the field. But for on the field my proudest was the first game I played my sophomore year against Fairleigh Dickinson. Freshman year was frustrating with injuries.
AD: Beating Dartmouth in our Ivy opener last year was definitely one of my prouder moments. Seeing the team come together in that game was great. I was very proud of our team that day.
DP: You guys have Dartmouth coming up this Saturday, what’s a pitch you’d give to fans to get them to come out?
JH: Well if you’ve ever heard of “The Firm,” they will be making an appearance, led by senior Nana Nyantekyi, and they previewed some of their chants last night. They’re definitely some entertaining ones.
AD: Come out, have a good time. Cheer loudly. And don’t be afraid to heckle the goalkeepers.