Q & A with Dana Johnson
Sept. 6, 2005
The Washington women's soccer team has played four tight contests, all of them decided by one goal or less. They are still seeking their first victory after a pair of losses and two ties.
The Huskies are gaining experience with a roster that underwent a great deal of turnover between this season and last. Ten of the 18 athletes who have played in a game this season are in their first year with the UW program.
UW travels to Oregon this weekend to compete in the Portland Invitational. The Huskies meet 25th-ranked West Virginia on Friday and No. 21 Wisconsin on Sunday.
Sophomore midfielder Dana Johnson (San Jose, Calif.) spent a few minutes with GoHuskies.com talking about the season so far.
GoHuskies.com: What are your thoughts on the season so far?
Dana Johnson: "It's been frustrating. We want to at least get a win four games into the season, but it is going okay."
DJ: "Our formation on defense changes all the time. With injuries and people getting sick, we haven't had the same lineup. We'll probably change like three times in a game. It is really a learning process right now, but we will get things sorted out."
DJ: "It is the toughest part of the game. The amount of opportunities that you get in a game is very limited. You might get only four or five shots in a game, so you have to capitalize on those opportunities. Everything has to be on target, preferably a shot that scores. The more shots that you take, the more that will actually go in. We just need to work on getting our shots on frame."
DJ: "It is always a tryout. You have to know everyone's names, but at the same time I am a returner. That doesn't mean that I have any kind of authority or that anything is set in stone. The whole thing is just a learning experience right from the start."
DJ: "Yeah, but you are a forced to a little prematurely. Usually you don't really need to be a leader until you are a junior when you find yourself maturing a little bit. There are only around seven returners now, so that definitely forces you to step up, even as a sophomore."
DJ: "I think it is difficult to deal with a personnel change on both sides of the ball. I think that it is just noticed more when you have trouble getting the ball in the back of the net versus getting a shutout. As an attacking player, I feel that a lot of people ask you why you can't score and why you can't put the ball in the back of the net, but it goes both ways. I just think that it is more recognized when an offense can't score."
DJ: "There is definitely frustration, but we are also very hungry. We are going to Portland this weekend to play two teams that I know nothing about. We are hungry and we need that win."
DJ: "It was amazing to be a part of and even watch it. I was injured, but we had an amazing group of girls. That senior class that graduated was just phenomenal. To be a part of that supporting the team was just indescribable. That was something that we definitely need to do again."
DJ: "There is a lot of talent on this team. The team that we had last year had seven seniors that had played together since their freshman year. There was a good number of returners, but this year it is completely different. The number of newcomers outnumber the number of returners. We do have a lot of talent, but it is just a matter of learning each other's talents."
DJ: "I learned to not put people on a pedestal. I am playing Division I soccer for a reason. I must be good enough to play at this level or else I wouldn't be here. But having fun is the most important thing. I am not getting so nervous anymore because I must be of the same caliber that they are. If you go out there and just have fun, the game will come along with it."
DJ: "I had to get healthy coming back from surgery. I needed to take the time to nurture my injuries and make sure that I came back healthy and ready to play. The worst thing that I could have done is come back too early, so that was the most important thing to me. I just took my time and let everything come back to me, you don't forget how to play soccer."
DJ: "Yes, I am going to be an English major because I want to teach. I might even want to write a book."