Nicole Martinez was tabbed Rookie of the Year in 2001.
Sept. 29, 2011
SEATTLE - The University of Washington is honoring 20 seasons of women's soccer at UW. All season, fans can log on and see special Q&A's with members of previous teams.
This week gohuskies.com interviews Nicole (Martinez) Paus who played at UW from 2001-04. She was the team Defensive MVP in 2003, the Rookie of the Year in 2001, scored the Goal of the Year in 2002 and was a team captain in 2002.
Gohuskies.com: Why did you decide on UW?
Nicole Paus: "I wanted to go to a big school that was rich in both academics and athletics. The UW definitely fit both of those categories! After my visit to the campus, I fell in love with everything the UW had to offer. The campus was beautiful, the coaching staff was amazing and the soccer team was one of the top in the country."
GH: How did UW change your life?
NP: "The UW has definitely made me the person I am today. Not only did it allow me to be involved in one of the best soccer programs in the US, but I also made lifelong friendships and met my husband. My husband, Casey, was a football player at UW. We have been married for three years and have one beautiful son, Preston, who is 16 months. We are expecting our second child in early November. We hope they will be future Huskies!! Also, I have been able to take what I have learned from my coaches, and am now implementing it in my current job as a youth soccer coach."
GH: Who is your favorite Husky soccer player (besides yourself)?
NP: "There have been so many amazing players to come through the UW program! I would have to say that my most favorite Husky player is Kelley (Schweighart) Burnham. She was one of the most consistent players I have ever played with and she was naturally gifted with speed and stamina! I always wished that I was her when we were doing our fitness tests. She would breeze through them like it was no big deal, meanwhile I was dying! When Kelley was on the field, I knew that she would get the job done, no matter what!"
GH: What was your favorite memory of UW?
NP: "My favorite memory of UW has to be our preseason skits. Not to brag, but I am pretty sure that my class made up the best skits of all time! Ok, well maybe not, but they were so fun to do. I still find myself singing some of the songs that we made up. It was a great bonding experience."
GH: How did UW prepare you for where you are now?
When I first attended UW, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I know some people have it all figured out, but that definitely wasn't me. A year after I graduated, I realized what I wanted to do. I wanted to do something that involved educating and helping children. So I began coaching soccer and eventually quit my day job to focus strictly on coaching. Lesle and Amy taught me so much in my four years with them. Now I am trying to pass on my knowledge to young players in the Seattle area. I am also pursuing a second bachelor's degree in mathematics with a secondary teaching certification."
GH: What did you major in and how have you used it?
NP: "I received a BA in sociology in 2005. Right out of college, I was a recruiting coordinator for a year. I have been coaching ever since then!"
GH: Where are you living now and what are you doing?
NP: "I live in Lynnwood with my wonderful family. I am a stay at home mom by day and a soccer coach by night! I have to say, it is amazing to be able to do what you love! I get to hang out with my son all day and then go coach the sport I love in the afternoons. I am very blessed!"
GH: Why is Seattle the best soccer city in the US?
NP: "There is just something about soccer in Seattle. I can't put my finger on it, but I got my first taste of it as a player at UW. We were lucky to always have very large crowds at our home games. It means a lot to players to have that kind of support. Now we have the Sounders too! Seattle definitely has soccer fever and it is great!"
GH: What is one fact that people might not know about you that you have done or that has happened to you since you left UW?
NP: "One thing that people might not know is that I lived in the south suburbs of Chicago for a year. We moved because of a job opportunity for my husband. His family also lives in that area. It was a great experience, but it definitely made me realize that I am a west coast girl, always and forever! It is great to be back in the Seattle area with all our Husky friends!"
GH: How involved are you still with the UW program?
NP: "I have been a HCC member for a few years and love when I am able to get to a game! The alumni and families are so involved and make games so much fun! I try to keep in touch with Lesle and Amy whenever can."
GH: If you could go back to college knowing what you know now, what would you change?
NP: "College can be a very distracting time. I would definitely change my focus level both academically and athletically. Not that it was that bad, but I think that there were times that I could have pushed myself harder. I think we let things cloud our vision sometimes. Obviously I now know that I want to teach, so I wish I would have majored in math."
GH: Are you following Hope Solo on "Dancing With The Stars?"
NP: "YES! I had the pleasure of playing and living with Hope during college. She is an amazing athlete and person...and now she is an amazing dancer! I wish her the best of luck and know that she will do great! She is very passionate and I know she will push herself to be the best."