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Garnering attention

The Carolinian talks with high scoring forward Eli Garner

Sports Editor

Published: Monday, October 11, 2010

Updated: Monday, October 11, 2010 13:10


You played at UNC as a freshman and transferred here this past year. What’s that transition been like?

Eli Garner: It’s been pretty hard, soccer wise. I went from not playing a lot at UNC and coming here and being a leader. Also my brother plays here so that’s tough. I have to be responsible about what I do with my decisions on and off the field.

Did Duke decide to come here after you decided to come here?

No, before. He decided to come here and I’ve always wanted to play soccer with him in college so I decided to come here also.

What’s it like playing with your brother?

It’s crazy. There’s nothing like it. The chemistry between us, we always know where each other are on the field and what we’re going do when we get the ball. I love playing with him. I know what he can do and I think he deserves to play as a starter. He’s got to work his way up there though.

You just jumped into the starting lineup, now you’re leading the team in goals (3) and shots (30). Does that surprise you?

In club I was like that also. I really didn’t think anything of it when I was scoring goals. I thought that was just normal. Going to Carolina and not scoring or playing as much was weird. Now I’m back to where I feel normal again. I feel good. It’s nothing really surprising. I expect that of myself.

Let’s talk about the last three games. The team came into the Campbell game having won the last three games. Campbell scores in the last second and you end up drawing in overtime. Then you have Homecoming against Wake Forest and you guys out-shoot Wake 21-10 and still lost. Then the team visits High Point, you score the first goal and the team goes on to lose 3-1. Which of those three hurt the hardest?

Probably High Point. They came at us hard. We came out hard at the beginning but I feel like we stopped competing after about 10 minutes and they just were on fire. They kept coming after us. It wasn’t really anything the offense could do. They were just so solid up front and we didn’t really get the ball up top.

Were they the best team you guys have played so far?

Besides Carolina, yeah.

Here’s something interesting: If you guys had won that Wake game, the combined records of UNCG men and women’s soccer and volleyball would have been 26-6. At the time, that would have been the same record as Carolina for those three sports and better than Duke (20-6).

Wow. That’s crazy. Yeah volleyball is pretty good and girl’s soccer is good. Girl’s soccer there is really good too. It’s surprising but not really.

Your older brother Brandon played soccer at Appalachian State and is now a professional UFC fighter. He could probably beat you in a fight but what about on the field?

Yeah, I mean he’s a good athlete but I don’t think his skills are still there in terms of soccer. He might be faster than me, I don’t know. I haven’t raced him in awhile but I think I still got him in soccer.

Do you have a nickname on the team?

Easy E. That’s what my coach calls me.

Do you have a soccer player you modeled your game after?

Lionel Messi. He’s my favorite player. I like to think that I aspire to play like him. He’s really quick with the ball and that’s what I like to be. I was rooting for Argentina [in the World Cup]. I wish they would have won.

What’s your favorite part of UNCG or Greensboro?

Playing with my brother and being here with him. We’re best friends so it’s a lot easier.

What is your ideal Friday night?

Watch a movie. Maybe play some Xbox with some friends in the dorm. Nothing special.

What’s playing on your iPod right now?


Favorite TV show?

Modern Marvels on the History Channel.

Do you follow any other sports?

Tennis. My family is pretty big into tennis.

Do you think Nadal can catch Federer?

I don’t know. Nadal is crazy. Possibly.

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