Q&A: Shoot Out with Jayhawk Goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau

Sept. 28, 2010

The Jayhawks’ redshirt sophomore goalkeeper out of Centennial, Colo., takes some time out from her time between the posts to answer questions about the 2010 season and her Kansas soccer career.

Q: So far this season you are leading the Big 12 Conference with 65 saves, what part of that accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Probably my work ethic. Sixty-five saves is a lot and I’m just excited to give my team an opportunity to win every time. It’s a privilege, and I am proud of the team overall.

Q: What do you like most about your position?

A: I like the competition. Coming up with a big time save when your team needs it the most is just awesome. Just being there diving around, throwing my body around — that’s what I’m all about.

Q: How old were you when you first starting playing soccer?

A: I started playing when I was four, in my backyard. My first organized team I played on was when I was six, on a team coached by my dad (Bob Liebetrau).

Q: What goes through your mind during a penalty kick?

A: I kind of empty my mind and focus on the ball and the player. Realistically, there is only a 10 percent chance that you’ll save it, so I go into the penalty kick very calm and relaxed. I make a decision which way I’m going and I commit to it. You just can’t change direction halfway into the shot.

Q: Who is your favorite athlete and why?

A: Michael Jordan because of how much he’s gone through and his work ethic.

Q: Do you have any superstitions or pre-match rituals that you take part in?

A: I always measure out the goal before the game by running back and forth. I jog across it to make sure it’s seven steps from post to post. I go twice from once side to the next, then go to the middle and touch cross bar. Also, I always have to hit the cross bar before every half. As far as pre-game, I listen to Tech N9ne’s “I’m a Playa'” before each and every game.

Q: How long after a match does it take you to stop thinking about what just happened on the field?

A: After a win, I go back over the game to see what I did better for about 60-90 minutes. After I loss, I don’t stop thinking about it until I play again, whether that’s the next day, or the next week. I don’t like losing and I want to go out there and prove myself again. A loss is always on my mind.

Q: What was your funniest or most embarrassing moment on a soccer field?

A: When I was about 12 we had a parents versus kids soccer game. I was coming out on a breakaway and one of the parents ran right through me and I was down on the ground. The parent got hurt actually, because it was a one-on-one collision and he fell on top of me.

Q: What was your best moment on a soccer field?

A: During my sophomore year high school, we were in state finals and I just remember we went in double overtime. We kept working and working, and I came up with some big saves and I was just so proud of my team. We ended up winning the game and the state championship.

Q: How many world cup matches did you watch this past summer?

A: As many as I could in between my classes.

Q: What did you think about vuvuzelas being blown at this season’s home-opener against Eastern Kentucky?

A: It was exciting knowing that we had that many fans out there. I loved the atmosphere and I wish we could have that many people out for every home game. It really pumped up the team in a good way.

Q: What soccer player would you like to meet most and what would you ask them?

A: Without a doubt I would want to meet Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid). I would ask him how much time and work he put in to get to where he is at.

Q: Soccer or Football? What is the correct name for the sport in your mind?

A: I would say football because it’s the original saying for soccer. In my mind I just think it’s football.

Q: What is your favorite sports movie?

A: “A League of Their Own”

Q: What is the first thing that comes to mind when Brandi Chastain is mentioned?

A: The penalty kick during the world cup. I was just amazed at how high her confidence level was in such a big game and with all the pressure that was on her.

Q: What is the best part about being a Jayhawk student athlete?

A: The overall experience and all the friends I’ve made on my team. My teammates are truly my second family away from home.