In Their Own Words: Katie Williams

April 18, 2008

Once again during the 2008 season, members of the <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas soccer team will share their thoughts in the first person. Today, freshman defender Katie Williams provides her insights into the highs and lows of her freshman season:<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

On her goals for the spring soccer season:

“Hopefully we can win out the rest of our games. For the defenders – since we have some new players coming in – we need to be able to find a rhythm and work together. We started off (last year) kind of rough. We want to work everyone in this spring so they’re all comfortable on the field.”

On taking on an expanded role early in the season:

“It was pretty tough. With Jenny (Murtaugh) and Afton (Sauer) playing center back, I thought I was just going to work in. I played a little bit outside the first couple of games just to get in. But then Jenny went down the third game of the year and I kind of got thrown into playing.”

“Afton is an awesome person to play next to, but she’s a little intimidating. She has such a presence out on the field. As the season went on, I got more and more comfortable. It was a valuable experience that I learned from. Afton was great in helping me grow.”

On her relationship with former teammate Afton Sauer:

“We played next to each other for the year, so anytime I had a question, I’d say `Hey, Afton, what do I do here?’ She’s the person I looked up to the most on the team. I looked up to all of our seniors, but Afton was the main one because she played right next to me. She really helped me with my transition from playing high school/club to playing at college level.”

On the biggest difference between high school and Division I soccer:

“Speed of play. You don’t have as much time to play with the ball in the back because the forwards are always pressing you. You have to think two steps ahead of your opponent, so you don’t make the mistake that costs your team a goal.”

On her offense coming to the front at the end of the year:

“We had a set play for that situation, where I play on the back post. I’m very dominant in the air, so is my entire family, so I’m comfortable doing it; I’m not afraid to attack the ball.”

On her freshman teammates:

“A lot of people think we’re similar, but we all have completely different personalities. I’m more of the quiet, reserved one. But I am the mom, I like to take care of things. I think that’s what makes us so close, that we’re different, but we all get along.”

On the adjustment from living in Houston to living in Lawrence, Kan.:

“The weather is the biggest difference. It’s a lot easier to breath here because it’s not as humid here. But I get made fun of a lot. When winter came along, (teammate) Kaitlynn Cunningham every day nailed me because I’d be wearing six layers. I was freezing all the time. I have three blankets on my bed at all times.”

On the adjustment of not seeing her siblings as often:

“When my sister went off to school, I was home for three years by myself after sharing a room with her. It was tough. I talk to my mom and my brother at least three or four times a day. I’m very close with my whole family. My mom is coming up for my birthday this weekend.”

On what she did for the men’s basketball national championship game:

“We went over to the juniors’ house and watched the game. It was most of the freshman class, a couple of the sophomores and the juniors. We all watched it and had a good time.”

“I thought we had lost the game. When Sherron (Collins) missed the layup, I thought it was over. But then Mario (Chalmers) hit that amazing shot. And once that happened, you could just see the defeat on the Memphis players’ faces. After that we knew we had it.”