On The Pitch With Raphael Cox
Oct. 9, 2008
Senior Raphael Cox has played a huge role in Washington's recent five-game unbeaten streak. Cox has four goals and two assists in the last four matches and leads the squad with 5 goals, three assists and 13 points. His five goals already surpass his previous career-high, as the speedy left-footed midfielder looks to make his last season his best. Cox took some time to talk to GoHuskies.com this week before the squad headed down to Corvallis for a Friday night clash with the Beavers.
Go Huskies: Can you talk a little bit about the season so far? How is the team doing?
Raphael Cox: 'I think that we started out pretty slow but now that we've been playing together longer we're getting better. We're getting to know each other a lot better. The defense is playing a lot better, letting in fewer goals. Our offense is starting to come along and score goals as well.'
GH: The team is 6-3-1 10 games into the season. Is this where you expected to be at this point?
RC: 'This is about where we thought we'd be. We are sitting first in the Pac-10 right now which is really good. Our preseason went all right, but we had a couple loses we probably would have liked to have gotten back.'
GH: The team is on a five-game unbeaten streak right now. What's been the key to the recent success?
RC: ' I think that defensively we're starting to shut teams out now and offensively we're starting to pass the ball around a lot better and keep the ball. We're finding the back of the net really well.'
GH: How big was it to start your Pac-10 slate (vs. Stanford and Cal) with a win and a draw?
RC: 'I think it's very important. It sets a good tone because they had us ranked in the preseason to finish fourth in the Pac-10. It shows everyone that we have a good team this year. Even though we're young, we're ready to make a run for it.'
GH: How would you compare Cal to the other ranked teams you have faced like New Mexico and Virginia Tech?
RC: 'They're probably one of the best teams we've played so far. A draw isn't too bad of a result against a top-five team, especially at this point in our season.'
GH: The team is back on the road for three matches after a five-game homestand. What is the team's focus?
RC: 'We're focusing on one game at a time and trying to get a result every single game. Coach [Dean Wurzberger] has said that if we just bring effort everything else with be taken care of.'
GH: What are your thoughts on Friday's game at Oregon State? It's always a physical battle between the Huskies and Beavers, and the last three games have gone to overtime.
RC: 'They always give us a tough fight no matter what, home or away. It's a team we definitely can't fall asleep on.'
GH: You personally have been a big contributor to the offense with four goals and two assists these last four games. Is that something you've been focusing on?
RC: 'I've been trying to get a lot of reps in front of the goal at practices and it's also helped that our two freshmen forwards have given me a lot of good service.'
GH: Was scoring something you were focusing on going into the year, knowing you would probably have a young attacking corps up front?
RC: 'I knew I was going to have to score more goals this year so I'm trying to step up and help the team out however I can.'
GH: Both the goals against Cal were scored on restarts. Is that something the team focuses on?
RC: 'Yeah we've been working on those a lot at practice. Every day we've been working on restarts because we have a really tall team. I've been working on my service and the tall guys have been working on just getting their heads on the ball and it's been working out really well.'
GH: What are your goals and expectations for this last half of your senior year?
RC: 'For the team, I want us to finish well and make it to the tournament. For me, I just want to help the team out as much as I can - scoring goals, playing defense, whatever I have to do to help us win.'
GH: How would you describe your career here at the UW? Any memorable moments that stick out in particular?
RC: 'I don't have any one memorable moment, but making the NCAA tournament and playing in those games is always crazy. Playing at Santa Barbara last year in front of the huge crowd was pretty cool. It's gone well so far and I've had a great time. I'm sad that it's almost over but it's been a good run.'
GH: Any thoughts on what might be next for you?
RC: 'I'm definitely going to try out for some teams and hopefully get drafted. I'm just going to keep working, put my head down and see what happens.'
GH: What's your major and when will you graduate?
RC: ' I'm majoring in sociology and I'll be graduating at the end of this quarter. Right when I'm done with soccer I'll be done with school.'
GH: Any career interests outside of soccer for the future?
RC: 'Coaching is something I'm interested in the most.'
GH: Thanks for taking the time to talk Raphael. Good luck at OSU on Friday!