Q & A with Shannon Dillon

Aug. 18, 2006

The Washington women's soccer team begins its 16th season of play next weekend, competing at a tournament in Hawaii. The Huskies meet host Hawaii on Friday, Aug. 25 and Oklahoma on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Senior forward Shannon Dillon, a product of Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Wash., spent a few minutes with GoHuskies.com talking about the start of a new season.

GoHuskies.com: How have things been going so far in the preseason?

Shannon Dillon: 'Really good. Everyone's been having a lot of fun and we've been playing well.'

GoHuskies.com: You are one of four seniors on the team. How has the leadership dynamic changed from last year when there was only one senior?

SD: 'Last year was really hard because we were so young. Now that we have so many returners it is good because everyone is taking on their own leadership roles. Everyone meshes really well and I think that our senior class will use their past experiences and put it all into this season.'

GoHuskies.com: How have the newcomers been fitting into the team?

SD: 'They've been great. We get along with them very well and they're all great players. We're all excited about them coming in and playing for us this year.'

GoHuskies.com: Have you had any off-field activities during the preseason?

SD: 'A lot of us go out to dinner together. We're staying in the dorms, so we spend a lot of time with each other. We have a car rally this Saturday and that's always a lot of fun.'

GoHuskies.com: Would you describe how the car rally works?

SD: 'The car rally is basically just a scavenger hunt, but you drive. The coaches come up with clues; you drive there, and then try to figure out the answer to the clue. You get points for the right answer, least mileage, and the fastest time.'

GoHuskies.com: From past car rallies, what is the most unusual place that you had to find?

SD: 'We've had to go all over. One of the places was Lesle's (Gallimore) and Amy's (Griffin) dentist. You drive all over Seattle, so sometimes you get off track and not in the right place.'

GoHuskies.com: The spring season was very good for you guys. Can you talk a little about that?

SD: 'We won the last three games, which was really exciting for all of us. It really just made everyone look forward to this season. Everyone's really excited for the first game.'

GoHuskies.com: When you think back to last year, what thoughts go through your mind?

SD: 'It was really frustrating. I personally don't like to think about it. I'm focused on this season and taking one game at a time.'

GoHuskies.com: The team was competitive last year, but scoring goals was an issue. How much better will the team be at scoring goals this season?

SD: 'In practice we've been scoring a lot of goals. I think everyone has more experience and we've playing well. I think that it'll just come.'

GoHuskies.com: What newcomers have impressed you so far in practice?

SD: 'Freshmen Chelsea Bumbough and Nikki Murray have stood out. Overall everyone came in ready to play and everyone's looking really good this year.'

GoHuskies.com: Forward Shuree Hyatt is a player who practiced with you last year, but couldn't play in games. What is she going to bring to this team?

SD: 'She's actually my roommate. I'm thrilled to play with her because we played together in fifth and sixth grade, so it's fun for me because I get to play with her again. She is a force out there. She's really aggressive, so she'll be a goal scorer for us. She's just a great presence to have on the field and it's too bad that we couldn't have her out there with us last year. Everyone's really excited that she can play with us this year. I know that she is as well.'

GoHuskies.com: What aspects of your game did you focus on to develop during the off-season?

SD: 'I focused on my fitness, finding the back of the net, and creating opportunities. Last year, I was still getting over my ACL injury. Now I'm back to where I was before that happened, so I'm hoping to make a difference out there.'

GoHuskies.com: The team is a week away from the season opener in Hawaii. What are your thoughts on that?

SD: 'I can't wait. I'm so excited because it's a new season with new players. Everyone's just so excited to go out there and play against somebody else besides your teammates. I'm really happy that it's in Hawaii as well.'

GoHuskies.com: Now we'll change the subject and talk about you a little bit. How close are you to graduating?

SD: 'I have two quarters left. I'm going to be applying to nursing schools for next year. I hope that I get in to somewhere. I'm majoring in public health, here at UW.'

GoHuskies.com: What are you long-term professional goals?

SD: 'I want to be a nurse practitioner.'

GoHuskies.com: How difficult has it been to balance your schoolwork with soccer?

SD: 'It's hard. You have to manage your time well. Your off time is spent studying a lot of the time because you come straight from practice. There are things that you have to miss out on in order to do it. Doing well in class is important because there's a lot of competition to get into nursing school.'

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