Q&A With Melena Ertler

Oct. 9, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - - Junior defender Melena Ertler (Gresham, Ore.; Centennial HS) has started 49 of 50 career games over a three-year span in Oregon State's back line - an area of the team that generally doesn't get a lot of recognition unless the squad surrenders too many goals on a regular basis. Ertler, a team co-captain, and the Beaver defense have been doing their jobs this year and have received little notice. So far, the defense has not surrendered more than two goals in a game and has shut out opponents three times, allowing a little more than a goal per game on average. Ertler was part of a defense that posted six shutouts in 2002. The following is a question-and-answer session with Ertler before a recent practice leading up to OSU's Civil War matchup with Oregon on Friday.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT PLAYING SOCCER?

'Usually, during the season in my spare time, I like to sleep. I'm always tired. Or I'll hang out with my friends, but that's about it.'

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE YOU'VE SEEN RECENTLY?

'I don't know if I have a favorite - there are too many. I really like Dazed and Confused.'

WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER IN THAT MOVIE?

'I can't remember his name - it's Ben Affleck's character. He's just a complete jerk and it's weird to see him like that. Banyon - that's his name.'

IF YOU COULD PICK ANY BAND TO SEE IN CONCERT, WHO WOULD IT BE?

'It's not really a band, but I really like N.E.R.D., and the stuff they produce - the Neptunes. It's not necessarily a band.

YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT ONE...

'It's kind of complicated. The Neptunes produce music, and it's the same people - N.E.R.D. - that are actually the singers. I really like Pharrell Williams... It's hip-hop.'

TAKE US THROUGH A TYPICAL ROAD TRIP.

'This year has been a little bit different - we haven't had any typical trips. Usually, Thursday we get up and leave early in the morning. We'll travel all day, get there and train, and then Friday we'll have a game. Saturday, we'll have a jog and a stretch maybe, then a game on Sunday and we go home. We don't really do much else - just hanging out in the hotel and watching TV and doing homework during school. It's nice when classes haven't started yet - you don't have to do homework.'

ARE THE TRIPS ENJOYABLE OR DO THEY WEAR ON YOU AFTER A WHILE?

'They kind of wear on you after a while. The traveling is the tiring part - just getting there. Once you're there, you have a lot of down time and a lot of time to yourself. It's just the fact that you're away from home.'

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER WAS ELECTED GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA - WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

'Wow. That's all I can say. I'm kind of amazed, actually. I don't really follow politics, but it's just crazy.'

YOU'RE STILL MAJORING IN PSYCHOLOGY?

'Yes, but I'm probably going to change it and still minor in Psychology. I'm a Spanish minor as well, and I'll probably change my major to (Human Development and Family Science). I want to work with kids, I just don't know exactly how yet.'

LET'S TALK ABOUT SOCCER A LITTLE BIT - SUMMARIZE THE SEASON SO FAR.

'We have a lot of freshmen and a transfer. Costa Rica was a lot of fun and it helped our team come together. I don't think we would have bonded as much if we hadn't gone. The way we've come together is amazing. I feel like this team is probably better than the last two years, but we just haven't been able to win some (of the close games). There are games we probably should have won and didn't. I think it will take some time to get to the level where we know we can win and have the confidence that we can win.'

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ADD? (The men's and women's teams have just come from the dedicationof a plaque in honor of fallen men's soccer players Joe Zaher and Stephen Hensor.)

'Coming from the memorial just now... I would say just take every day and cherish it. You never know when you'll be gone or when someone else will be gone.'

THE TEAMS ARE PRETTY CLOSE.

'We do a lot of stuff together. It obviously hard. I know a lot of people didn't know the two of them, but just the fact that we did and the guys did - it's still an emotional thing. It's adds reality to everything.'

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