Senior Goalie Christian Lewis Keeps A High GPA, A Low GAA And A Season-Long Journal For Umterps At The Same Time
Sept. 8, 2000
Terp goalie Christian Lewis has an easy attitude and an outgoing personality that's hard to miss. The senior starter's voice seems almost hoarse sometimes, and for good reason. The final line of one of the ACC's top-ranked defenses, Lewis is the director of their efforts and with that responsibility comes the risk of going silent after some games. The condition has improved overall, and he has the 48-hour rule to thank for that.
After the removal of the Ellicott City, Md. native's tonsils two years ago, Lewis learned from the doctor that the Coca-Cola he loved so much might be the partial cause of his post-game silence due to the carbonation and caffeine. After his teammate's helped invoke the 48-hour rule last year (no Coke for 48 hours before the game), Lewis' condition has improved somewhat.
Family support has always been a part of the Lewis household. From the first soccer practice Lewis' mom drove him to, crying all the way, and then couldn't get him to leave from to his adventures at Maryland, his parents and brother have been there.
Adamant about things like eating his Kit Kat's chocolate outside first, Lewis is quick to inform you that he's Greek, and then leaves you hanging with the details of whether he means his family is from Greece or he is active in the fraternity social structure of college. For Lewis, whose mother is from the tiny Greek island of Tinos, the Greek system at Maryland may be the only thing he isn't involved in. The consummate student athlete, Lewis is on the Maryland athletics department's Internet strategy committee, represents the team on the student athletic council, interned this past summer in the Terrapin Club office, and still keeps exceptional grades. "I learned a lot working for the Terrapin Club over the summer," says Lewis. "I'm not sure that development is something I'd go into after I graduate, but now its something else that I know about."
A GTE academic all-district pick for the past two seasons, Lewis is a business major who will graduate with honors in the spring having experienced all Maryland has to offer. "The fact that Maryland was close to home really had very little to do with it. The academics were good, and I was accepted to the honors program so I wouldn't be compromising my academics," explains Lewis of his close-to-home choice of schools. "The ACC is the best conference for soccer, and Maryland was up-and-coming in all of it. My senior year was the year they won the ACC Tournament. It was clearly one of the best programs."
Lewis has enjoyed the luxury of playing behind one of the best defenses in the ACC for the past two years, and this year is no different. Hermann Trophy candidate Nick Downing, and College Soccer Online preseason All-American Beckett Hollenbach take charge of the back with two-year starter Mike Shebuski and Under-20 national team member Philip Salyer. All toll, Lewis has a line of defense in front of him that would make most goalies envious.
"I've had the good fortune to play with some of the best defenders in the nation here at Maryland, last year Danny (Califf), whose going to be in the Olympics, was here. This year with Nick, Beckett, Phil and Mike, our backs are going to be some of the best in the nation again, if not the best," predicts Lewis of his teammates potential.
Once the Terrapin's season draws to a close in December, the end of Lewis' playing career will most likely coincide with it. After offseason back surgery to repair a herniated disc that nagged Lewis during the 1999 campaign, he has no disillusions that his body can keep playing indefinitely. "My back feels great right now, and I'm sure it'll be no problem this season, but I kind of realize that after that, I really won't be able to play much longer," relays Lewis. "What I'll do after that, I haven't really decided. I may go back to school, find a job or take time off, but right now, I'm going to give all I have to this team in my senior year."
Lewis and the Terps open their home schedule on Friday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 10 as part of the Maryland/FILA Classic. Maryland meets Indiana on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and South Carolina Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Ludwig Field. Lewis will also be keeping a season-long diary on www.umterps.com, the official website of Terrapin athletics.