Q & A with Katie Buser

Aug. 21, 2007

The Washington women's soccer team begins its 17th season of play this weekend, hosting British Columbia in an exhbition game at Husky Soccer Field. Admission is free for the game, Saturday, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m.

Senior midfielder Katie Buser is a product of Bellarmine Prep (Wash.) High School who lettered the last two seasons at UW after transferring from San Diego. Katie 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 practice?

Katie Buser: 'I think there's a big difference this year between the last two years because we have a lot more experience. I know for me, personally, I'm feeling a lot healthier. We have a lot more leadership and depth in our bench which I think is probably going to be the biggest thing. Having people that can come off the bench and bring up the level of the game.'

GoHuskies.com: Speaking of depth, the team has 27 players this year. What is it like to have such a large roster?

KB: 'For practice purposes, we can do a lot more live game situations. We have a lot of new players and a lot of returning players so it's exciting that we have a lot of freshman that can bring a lot to the table. But we also have that experience that's continually raising the level.'

GoHuskies.com: With so many players, do you feel like you can't really afford to have a bad practice because you might lose the spot you've earned?

KB: 'Yeah, it's really competitive. But for me, that's really exciting. I'm always willing to work as hard as I can and I think the more I'm being pushed the better I'm going to get. And the harder I'm working, the better everyone else is going to get. For me, it's fun.'

GoHuskies.com: With nine new players, how do you go about getting to know everybody?

KB: 'Learning names comes naturally when you're playing together, you pick that up pretty quickly. But every night we do something with one of the younger players, whether it be hanging out in the halls or going out to dinner or bringing one of them to one of our houses. That's one of the reasons we stay in the dorms is so we can bond together.'

GoHuskies.com: Now that you've had a few practices, which of the newcomers has impressed you?

Katie Buser: 'Kendyl Pele is just coming off an ACL [surgery] and she's doing awesome. Really tough, fast and I think she can bring a lot to our offense, maybe in an outside back, which is really good for us because someimes we have our midfielders tucked in. McKenna Waitley, up in front, is really skilled and fast and tall and good in the air.'

GoHuskies.com: As a senior, has the time since you were a freshman gone by fast?

KB: 'There have been some bumps in the road with injuries, so it's pretty exciting. It's been longer at times in the winter, it kind of drags sometimes. But the season's always exciting. Especially now that I'm feeling really healthy and ready to go.'

GoHuskies.com: What are you majoring in?

KB: 'I'm majoring in Psychology and hoping to go into physical therapy school after that. Maybe taking a year and doing an internship. I'm actually doing one currently at the Sports Medicine Clinic here at UW.'

GoHuskies.com: Having gotten a feel for what they do at the Sports Medicine clinic, is it still something that you want to do?

KB: 'Yep. It's been a dream of mine since I was in the eighth grade. I've been trying to stay on track, I worked in physical therapy coming out of high school. I plan on doing some hospital hours all year. So I've got a lot to accomplish this year as far as my future goes.'

GoHuskies.com: You said physical therapy's been a dream of yours since eighth grade - is that because of an injury that you had and someone had to work with you?

KB: 'When I was younger, I didn't have major injuries, but I had sprained ankles, so I was always going in to get treatment. I just loved the feel, I loved the environment, and just knew that that was what I wanted to do.'

GoHuskies.com: When will you finish up with school?

KB: 'I'll finish in the spring. With my transfer I had to cram a bit, but it should be alright.'

GoHuskies.com: What are your feelings about this season?

KB: 'It's awesome actually. It finally feels like things are clicking. We've got a bunch of kids who are willing to work really hard. We've always worked really hard, but there was always a little something missing. The chemistry on the field is like night and day.'

GoHuskies.com: You've got an exhibition game on Saturday. How important is one of those to work out the kinks?

KB: 'That's the biggest thing. We can see who looks good where. It's really important with some really big games coming up like Wisconsin. We can't really know until we get out there and play against an opponent. Just getting some kinks out will be really good for us.'

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