Q & A with Tina Frimpong
Sept. 22, 2004
The fourth-ranked Washington women's soccer team is 6-0 and tied for the best start in school history. The Huskies also opened with six straight wins in 2000, the same season they won their only Pac-10 Championship.
Washington continues its stretch of 10 consecutive games away from home with a trip to the state of Oregon this weekend. The Huskies play at Portland State on Friday at 3 p.m. and at Portland on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Gohuskies.com: Would you comment on the current stretch of 10 games away from home?
TF: 'We just take it one road trip at a time. We knew coming in that we would have to deal with it. The coaches have prepared us and helped us through it. This will be the third road trip with two more after that.'
Gohuskies.com: What has the team's approach been to having so many road games in a row?
TF: 'We just keep saying that we're excited and that it's great. We're just trying to take it one game and one day at a time. We are excited. We miss our fans, we miss our friends, we miss my daughter; we miss all that. A lot of the parents have been coming out and traveling with us and that makes it great.'
Gohuskies.com: How difficult has it been for you to be on the road so much away from your 3-year-old daughter MacKenzie?
TF: 'It's hard being away from MacKenzie. It's so hard. It's cool because two of the weekends are in Portland so she comes and stays with my parents in Vancouver (Wash.). It works out okay, but it's hard.'
Gohuskies.com: How difficult was it to travel across the country to Maryland on Wednesday and then have to wait until Sunday to play because Friday's game was cancelled?
TF: 'We had the best warm-up of our lives on Friday. Everyone was so pumped and ready to go and then no game. We had been there an extra day to, so it was a long, long week trip. Not playing really bummed us out, but we were trying to get focused for Sunday.'
Gohuskies.com: Was it difficult to be sharp when you showed up to play Sunday?
TF: 'Yeah. We kind of started off a little slow, but we regrouped. We wanted to go after it and play like we know how to because we were there since Wednesday.'
Gohuskies.com: The 2000 team won its first six games, the same season they won UW's only Pac-10 championship. Are you aware that your six wins tied that team for the best start in school history?
TF: 'We always hear about the year 2000. Our seniors have been on a mission to change that. We want a year for ourselves. We want to do better than that year and have people talk about the 2004 team.'
Gohuskies.com: Do you pay attention to where you stand personally in the record books?
TF: 'I just want our team to keep winning. For these past four years to all come together would be the best thing for me. For us to do something as a team like go as far as we can, win the Pac-10 championship or go to the Final Four. Something like a team accomplishment would be the best thing for me. That's my goal, is for our team to go as far as we can.'
Gohuskies.com: You are three goals away from the school career scoring record of 34 goals held by current assistant coach Tami Bennett. Do you ever talk to Tami about that?
TF: 'We joke about it. She'll say things like `hey, you're getting close' or `try to get some more to beat me' or something like that. It's just funny, more of like a joke.'
Gohuskies.com: Were you aware that your first goal Sunday was the school-record 13th career game-winning goal of your career?
TF: 'Was it? Cool. I didn't know that.'
Gohuskies.com: How do you explain that so many of your goals are game-winners?
TF: 'I just think the team looks to me, or Kim (Taylor), or both of us just to get it done. I just try to get in behind the defense and if they can play me awesome balls, which I get all the time, I just try to put them away. It's just the team finding me in those type of moments.'
Gohuskies.com: How do you approach this weekend's games in Oregon?
TF: 'This is a big, big weekend. I just pray that we rise up to the occasion. That's just what we need to do. We have Portland State on Friday and Portland on Sunday. We're not even looking at Portland. We're just focusing on Portland State right now, just trying to make sure we get that one under our belt. Going to play at Portland, we're used to that so we're just going to try to take that one too. Big weekend.'
Gohuskies.com: Do you pay attention to the national rankings that have you listed No. 4?
TF: 'We kind of have been looking at them because we came from nothing to this. We talk about it a little bit, but we try to keep in mind that it's just paper. Look at us, we weren't even on there before. That's just paper. We're just trying to get as many wins as we can and go as far as we can.'
Gohuskies.com: Does the high ranking put a bigger target on your backs if your opponents pay attention to them?
TF: 'I hope it scares them. That's a good thing to have over somebody.'
Gohuskies.com: How do you feel before a game?
TF: 'I always get nervous before a game. I know that's not a good thing to say, but I'm just a nervous freak. Having had all these wins and being 6-0 makes me even more nervous. I just think this year I'm working on calming my nerves. I know I'm a senior and I should already have that under the belt. It just think about being calm and winning. It's just different because we're so good and we can go far. That puts a little more pressure on us.'
Gohuskies.com: How do you prepare yourself for a game?
TF: 'Before games last year, me and Melissa (Bennett) used to sit down together and figure out what we wanted to do for a game. This year she's not here so me and Nikki Gamble do that. We just take three things that we want to do. Things like turning three times on a person or looking for a certain player more to drop it back to. We try to set goals for each other and hold each other accountable to it. It's awesome.'
Gohuskies.com: Are you surprised how well the freshmen have contributed?
TF: 'I'm excited. It's awesome. That's what we were talking about in the preseason, that we needed a few freshmen to step it up. They have. A lot of them, more than just a few. The people coming off the bench, Colby (Branham) and Katy (Dowling), they're doing awesome.'
Gohuskies.com: To what do you attribute the team's success?
TF: 'The defense has been great. On offense we have Kelly Schweighart, we have Kim Taylor, we have Nikki Gamble, we have Cassie Giles. Look at the stats, everyone is contributing. That is just great this year. It's more of a team effort. Everyone is getting some love in that aspect. It's awesome because everyone is stepping up and we're all contributing.'
Gohuskies.com: How has your game improved over your career?
TF: 'It's just fitting in with the team and trying to make the right runs. Trying to be a better thinker is what I'm really working on this year. That's what the coaches have been pounding in my head too. I've grown in that aspect. I'm also able to last a little longer. I'm trying to be more of a leader, to talk to my teammates, to try to be more of a communicator. That comes from all of our seniors. All of us have really taken on the role, that they are looking to us and we have to make sure that we are carrying it. For me personally, I think I'm better in that area.'