Nov. 14, 2008
This week, the California women's soccer team travels to Gaineville, Fla., for the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Bears take on the Gators on Friday at 4 p.m. EST at Florida's James G. Pressly Stadium. CalBears.com recently sat down with junior midfielder Katie Oakes to discuss the team's reaction to their selection and trip to the NCAA Tournament.
CalBears.com: What was going through your mind on selection day?
Katie Oakes: "I wasn't even there watching with the team. I had class. I kept in contact with [junior goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini], and she told me we were near the last team announced. I was so thankful! We get to play and there's no judgment. We just have to go out there and show what we're made of."
CalBears.com: Cal is playing Florida, a two seed, how does that affect your outlook?
KO: "I wasn't thinking anything in particular about Florida when we found out we were playing them. I was just thinking that we need to bring it. We made the tournament, it doesn't matter what our opponent is seeded because anything can happen."
CalBears.com: The Pac-10 Conference had six teams make the NCAA Tournament this year. What's it like to be playing such a competitive conference?
KO: "I think it really helped us that we're in such a tough conference. We had some games that we didn't play our best and lost games that we shouldn't have lost. We have a chance to play our best and it really shows a lot. Playing in the Pac-10 helped prepare us for this point."
CalBears.com: How does this year differ from last year's trip to Stanford for the NCAA Tournament?
KO: "It's nice to travel and it's nice to go away with the team and be focused. It's nice to see the country and to see other schools. It also really brings up our energy."
CalBears.com: What was the feeling on the team during Thursday evening's practice?
CalBears.com: What's your favorite part about traveling with the team?
KO: "It was relaxed. We weren't too relaxed, we were focused, of course. I think everyone is really excited that we're in the tournament. We have nothing to lose. I couldn't be happier right now. Whatever happens will happen but we're going to do our best."
"We really feel the sisterhood of the team when we travel. Since we're away from home, we have to create comfort. We you really feel how close the team is when you're away."