Dec. 3, 2013
Jill Maloney came to UGA from Alpharetta, and was the team’s back-up goalkeeper her first season after enrolling in January. The transition to college life was a smooth one for Maloney, as she was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll this season. Maloney’s Georgia career is supplemented by her time with the Ireland U-19 team. She is also a nationally-ranked Monopoly player. For more on that, watch this video.
Q: What was the biggest difference between high school and college soccer for you?
A: I think in high school there is less pressure on the games, whereas in college there is a lot less room for error. Also in college, the talent level is superior.
Q: What was it like coming in with such a big freshman class?
A: I came in early partially because I was intimidated by coming in with such a large group. But it’s been good. I’m still glad I came in early because I got to befriend all the sophomores and train with them, but still be a part of the freshman class.
Q: How have you settled in with your teammates and what have they been like since your arrival?
A: It’s been fine. There are a lot of personalities but everyone seems to have found their place. In general there’s good camaraderie and we have fun.
Q: How have you developed during your first season here at Georgia?
A: I think I improved. My kicking game changed for the better. The most important thing I got from being on the bench was I got to see goalies from all over the SEC and now I know I can compete with them. I don’t feel as overwhelmed and there’s not as much self-doubt as there might have been.
Q: What was the best moment of your debut season?
A: The Red & Black scrimmage was fun. I got to start and got the shutout with a couple good saves, which was fun. But the most fun one was when I flew back from Ireland to meet the team for our game in Mizzou. I had been awake for over 24 hours and I ran into the stadium right as they were announcing the Missouri lineup. And I had to run through the front gate and they thought I was a student trespassing. They were yelling at me and I was like “I’m on the team, I swear!” and I hopped the fence and ran around the track and our team was clapping for me and laughing and I hadn’t seen them in over two weeks. The Missouri people were so confused. I just thought it was hilarious.
Q: How did you find playing in the SEC?
A: Ha. Maybe next year.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve personally before the beginning of next season?
A: Mostly I just need to get healthy and back in shape. Then I need to work on my left foot and explosiveness when diving. Once I have confidence in my abilities, I think I will be able to take on a bigger leadership role on the team.
Q: What are your goals for your sophomore year?
A: Hoping for an SEC Defensive player of the Week award. I’d take Player of the Year as well. And an NCAA Tournament bid for the team.