‘We over me’: Maya Ghosh and Joey Schwartz lead their teams as The Occidental’s Athletes of the Week

Joey Schwartz (junior), member of the men’s soccer team, at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Oct. 6, 2021. Maya Ghosh (sophomore), member of the women’s golf team, at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Oct. 5, 2021. Eddie Dong/The Occidental

Maya Ghosh

Golfer Maya Ghosh (sophomore) finished third at the Chapman Invitational, a SCIAC Quad Meet, with a two-day score of 157 (+15), Oct. 3. The Occidental golf team competed in this invitational against Chapman University, Whittier College and the University of La Verne, placing second behind Chapman. Ghosh’s third-place finish came shortly after she shot her collegiate low (75) in a dual match victory against Marymount University of California at Brookside Golf Course.

Ghosh said she credits her recent success to her improved mental game, namely her preparation and ability to quickly move on from bad shots.

“Obviously you want to score as well as you can on both days, but I went in knowing that the first day would be difficult because I didn’t know the course, so I printed out the course map and took good notes so that I could build off of that the second day,” Ghosh said.

In addition to this preparation, Ghosh said she spent much of her time over the past year improving other aspects of her mental game, specifically her ability to remain present while playing.

“When I was younger, if I shot poorly on a hole I would be worried about how it would affect my overall score. Now I just tell myself that I have to move on,” Ghosh said. “The hard thing is it’s important to think through how you’re going to play the hole, but you can’t get too far ahead of yourself, so I have to be very intentional about finding that balance.”

Ghosh said she also attributes much of her recent success to her teammates and being a part of a community again after spending last year attending classes remotely.

“Being on a team has made this transition so much easier for me and we have already built really great connections and friendships,” Ghosh said.

According to teammate Magdaline Kuhn (sophomore), Ghosh’s teammates share her enthusiasm for their camaraderie.

“She’s a great teammate and is always so bright and positive,” Kuhn said. “I’m really excited for our spring season to see what she does.”

While the golf team’s fall season came to an end with the Chapman Invitational, their spring season is just around the corner, beginning Sunday, Feb. 2. Ghosh said she is looking forward to building off of her strong season, and plans to continuing to strengthen her bond with the team this spring.

“We’re all really excited to continue to grow together as friends and teammates and we can’t wait for this spring,” Ghosh said.

Joey Schwartz

Joey Schwartz (junior), a midfielder on the men’s soccer team, scored two goals in recent games for Occidental, one against Claremont McKenna College Sept. 25, which put the Tigers ahead 1-0, and a game-tying goal against La Verne Oct. 2.

These goals came at an important moment for the team, following a slow start to the season after losing their first four games in conference play. Since their 0-4 start, however, the team has won five straight games to give them a winning record on the season.

According to Schwartz, the team is acutely aware of how important it is for the team to continue winning.

“Every game is like a final for us now,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said it was difficult to adjust from pandemic life straight into a soccer season, especially with a team that is full of mostly new faces.

“It was hard, after not having an in-game environment for upwards of 6 months, to adjust back,” Schwartz said. “It was difficult for us to get the ball rolling and start to pick up wins, but I know that we can with a lot of hard work.”

Schwartz said his recent success comes from his preparation and work he did in his time off during the pandemic.

“I spend a lot of time doing visualizations, both during the pandemic and before games. It really helps get you in the mindset of a game and allows you to stay relaxed,” Schwartz said.

According to teammate Marcus Chmielewski (sophomore), Schwartz’s teammates have taken notice of his commitment and preparation.

“Joey is an incredible individual both on and off the field. He truly takes ‘we over me’ to the next level and will surely be a big part of our success this season,” Chmielewski said.

Schwartz and his team will look to continue their recent streak of success in their upcoming game against Redlands Oct. 20.

“We’re very confident that we can stay on this roll and continue to win and grow as a team,” Schwartz said.