Q & A With Kate Deines

Oct. 22, 2008

Issaquah product Kate Deines, the three-time Gatorade State (WA) Player of the Year, has made an immediate impact for the Huskies her freshman season, starting every game and scoring three goals. One of those goals came in her first career game against Montana in a season-opening victory. GoHuskies.com caught up with Deines this week as the team heads into the home stretch of the Pac-10 season looking for its first NCAA berth since 2004.

What was it like getting to not only start but then score a goal in your first college game?

'Our first game against Montana was definitely something the entire team had been looking forward to. We put a lot of hard work into preparing for it so I think the energy level was high. I was definitely nervous considering it was my first collegiate game but the entire team, especially the upper classmen and our coaching staff, were supportive throughout and I really think their support helped me through the first game and just made it easier for me. The transition wasn't as difficult with them rallying around me for support.'

Did you have a 'Welcome to College Soccer' moment at any point this season?

'I think our streak of games against Portland, USC, UCLA and Stanford, those games definitely had a big impact and had the 'whoa factor' where you realize it's a whole new level and the competition is just that much greater. I think the speed of play overall has been the biggest adjustment but otherwise it's really similar (to high school). It's still the same game.'

You are part of a freshman class that has contributed a lot this season. You all must be pretty excited about the future.

'I think I can speak for all of the girls when I say we're really excited and looking forward to our four years playing here. I think the future is bright. Hopefully with each year we'll get that much better. There's a lot of talent on the field, but I also think a big component of our success has been the chemistry off the field. We're so fortunate. The girls, the coaching staff, I love them all. We have a great group and that has been the extra key.'

Which of your teammates were the most helpful in getting you adjusted to the college life?

'Obviously, Lesle (Gallimore), Jim (Thomas) and Amy (Griffin), and then we have a lot of leaders on the team. Kendyl Pele, Lindsey Kasser and Dana Stirn, who are the captains, and then there's a lot of people who don't have that label who also step up: J-Ro (Jenna Robison), VP (Veronica Perez). I could name one person after another. We are so lucky, I love everyone.'

What was it like for you during that four-game stretch against top five teams, playing against some of the best competition in the country and what did you learn from that?

'Even though the outcomes weren't exactly as we might have wanted them, I think, especially with the Portland and USC games, we realized, wow, we can really compete with some of the best teams in the nation. Yeah, we didn't get the wins we wanted but we did have two complete games and we really surprised them. We're slowly starting to get the recognition we deserve. But then the UCLA and Stanford games were a completely different story. Those two games made us realize, yeah, we can compete with the best, but there is still a lot of stuff we can work on which is a positive thing because we're not at our best yet and we're not peaking yet.'

What made you want to be a Husky?

'For me, I wanted to come into the program and make a difference and rebuild the program and help get them back to when they went to the Elite Eight. That says just as much as being on a team that's already in the top 10. We're slowly getting there so it's a true testament to the coaches and players and all the work we've put in.'

How does the team feel heading into these final five games being so close to an NCAA tournament berth? Has the tough stretch of games against ranked teams helped you prepare for the stretch run?

'I really think it has, we know what to expect from the two Arizona schools and two Oregon schools and now it's just a matter of taking care of business and playing the type of soccer were capable of. We'll see, it should be exciting.'

What has the overall college experience been like for you so far?

'I am so happy. I wouldn't want to go anywhere else. The entire college experience so far has been amazing. Well, maybe except for midterms. (Laughs) Other than that, it's been awesome. They definitely have the complete package here.'

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