Q & A With Senior Goalkeeper Danny Waltman
Sept. 4, 2003
GoHuskies.com: How is the season going so far?
Danny Waltman: 'I think things are going well. We are off to a good start. The team is really coming together, not too fast, not too slow.'
GH: How do you think the team will do this year?
Waltman: 'It's bright right now. We definitely had a good start (at the Portland Invitational), and it wasn't a surprise. I knew we were going to do well because our team is good. Our young kids are just incredible. To watch those kids in our first two games, they can only get better.'
GH: What it the key to the team's success this season?
Waltman: 'Unity. I think our team is much tighter than we were last year. I think our leadership is better from our upperclassmen. Our juniors are really stepping up and I think that will filter down. Right away those young kids came in, and it was all about getting them into the program. They jumped on board right away and they are going to be the key to success.'
GH: How is the experience that comes with being a senior helping you this year?
Waltman: 'Basically, I feel like I have seen everything that there is to see. I am not surprised by anything anymore. It is really important that I show these young guys how things go.'
GH: How is the team going to handle the challenge of Portland coming in on Friday?
Waltman: 'It's a huge game - a -fierce rivalry by far. They knocked us out of the playoffs two years ago. Every time we play it's a huge game. Especially, since they just lost their coach. It is the first home game of the season and then we have a two-week break after that. So, to come off with a victory this weekend would be nice.'
GH: Do you do anything special to prepare for a big game?
Waltman: 'I go into every game the same. Every game is a huge game. I've only got 18 games left in my career, guaranteed, so every one is huge.'
GH: 'Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Waltman: 'I don't like to eat before games, because I like to play on an empty stomach. I always take a shower right before the game and listen to some loud music. I take a shower with my gloves, the night before the game. If you love your gloves they will love you back.'
GH: How did you get started manning the net?
Waltman: 'When I was six I was just playing on a team where they rotate you in. I was a forward until then. It was my turn in goal one day and I had the most fun I have ever had. We lost like 14-0, but I had a great time.'
GH: How does it feel to be playing for Washington after growing up close by in Gig Harbor?
Waltman: 'It is a dream come true. This is the top program in Washington. You look around and you see this amazing place and go, 'man, I play for this team.' It is such a big school, you feel so much pride when you put on the jersey. I am a Dawg through and through. I will always be a Dawg.'
GH: What has been your favorite sports moment?
Waltman: 'I have got to give it to Lance Armstrong. That was awesome, I watched him fall and get back up and I think that is just and incredible display of guts. Edgar Martinez is my favorite athlete, because mentally he just has the pitcher he even throws the ball.'
GH:What would be the ideal way to end your career?
Waltman: 'When I am about 45, after a long pro career. Really, I just want to be able to look back on my career and say hey I gave it my best shot. Hopefully we'll make the playoffs, but if not, hey I've had the best time of my life playing. I want a national title, if I leave without one I will be disappointed.'
GH: What is one thing you have to do before you die?
Waltman: 'I definitely have to go skydiving before I die. I've got to do that and I've got to fly a jet somehow. I don't know how I want to get inside of a jet and fly.'
GH: There have been some huge soccer matches in Seattle recently, with Manchester United, Celtic, Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes making the trip. Did you make it to any of those games?
Waltman: 'I went to those and was left wanting afterwards. I want to see another one. Let's go tomorrow night. I would love to see that everyday here, it was incredible.'
GH: Do you think these games will help bring fans to Husky games?
Waltman: 'I hope it does, that is kind of how the game is supposed to be played. That is the most beautiful thing you can watch, so we are trying to emulate that as much as possible. We are not perfect or we would be in that league. I hope it does, I hope it sparks a love for the sport. I was just praying that it would change the way that soccer is seen in this state and this country. It got a lot of buzz, but not enough.'