Q&A With Emily Shibata

Oct. 6, 2009

BERKELEY - Junior Emily Shibata has been a key player on the California midfield for the past three years. Shibata, who has played in nine games and has one assist this year, is a Bay Area product, hailing from nearby Walnut Creek, Calif. Last year, she recovered from a preseason injury to play in the final 15 games of the 2008 season, starting two, and was also a Pac-10 Conference All-Academic honorable mention. CalBears.com talked with the 5-2 player to discover more about her.

CalBears.com: You were a lead dancer at the Dance Connection Performing Arts Center for 10 years. What made you stick with soccer over dancing?
Emily Shibata:
I was asked by one of my club coaches to choose between soccer and dance. My decision basically came down to whether or not I wanted to pursue soccer seriously. Also, I realized that I was a lot better at soccer than dance. I think I had stuck with dance for so long because my sister was so good.

CalBears.com: Your dad, Craig graduated from Cal - did that influence your decision to come here?
I think that my dad being a Cal alum had partial influence with my decision to come here. But the main reason I chose Cal was because I have a close relationship with my family, and I wanted them to be able to readily come to my games without having to travel a lot.

CalBears.com: In your online bio, you noted that you went to Japan over the summer - where did you go?
I went to Japan with my family (parents, sister, grandparents, and cousin) in July 2009. We visited Kyoto and Tokyo. My family has extended family in both places.

CalBears.com: You're from just over the hill in Walnut Creek, do you get to go home a lot? What's it like to attend college near your hometown?
During the season, I do not get to go home too often. If I do go home, it is usually for a quick meal with the parents and to do some laundry! I love living close to home. Since Berkeley and Walnut Creek are such different environments to live in, I feel like I live far away from home. It is nice to have the option to get away from Walnut Creek, but it is also convenient to live close so that I do not have to travel during the crazy holiday seasons.

CalBears.com: What challenge of your sport do you not find in any other sport?
In soccer, unlike any other sport that I can think of, we do not get timeouts. As a result, it is demanded of the players to have a high work rate and stamina for 90 minutes. Additionally, because there are no timeouts, we, as players are expected to fix and adjust problems within the game during the run of play.

CalBears.com: What are some hobbies you have outside of your sport?
I love to shop!

CalBears.com: Who is the loudest player on the team?
Tasha aka Natasha Richardson.

CalBears.com: Do you have any superstitions?
I always have to put on my left cleat before my right one.

CalBears.com: Katie Suits, the last individual to do a Q&A for CalBears.com, wanted the next women's soccer player to answer: What is your most embarrassing moment? What is your biggest fear?
My most embarrassing moment was when I was at a Cal basketball game, and I tripped going up one of the steps and all my friends in the student section saw me and started busting out laughing from across the arena. My biggest fear is not knowing what I am going to do once I am done playing soccer because it has been my life for the past 16 years.

CalBears.com: What question would you like the next women's soccer student-athlete who does a Q&A to answer?
Who inspires you? Why?

To see all past Q&As with the Golden Bears, click here.

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