September 10, 2008

A Matador Minute with Nalena Betancourt

Sept. 10, 2008

Question What are your thoughts on this weekend's contests against California and Saint Mary's?

Answer "I think it's good to start on the road before conference play begins. It gives us a taste of the road atmosphere. I think these two teams will definitely be some of our toughest opponents so far this season, but I also think its good to play teams that are tough because it gets us ready for the Big West season."

Question Can you take us back to your game-winning goal in the season opener against San Diego State?

Answer "I think that win set the tone for the season. It felt very nice to open the season with a win, in front of the home crowd. On the play, the ball came in from a cross and sophomore Katie Fox and I had come up from the backline in hopes of crashing in on goal. I was there, put it in and we won. "

Question When did you start playing soccer and discover a passion for the game?

Answer "I started playing when I was five and I have been in love with it ever since. I just really love the competition and atmosphere. It is a great feeling to know that you have an entire team behind you. Nobody before me in my family was an athlete. I was the first to start playing and go somewhere with sports."

Question What have you learned in your time at Northridge both on the soccer pitch and in life?

Answer "Playing Division I soccer and being a full-time student has really taught me the importance of balance your commitments. Soccer takes a lot of time and so does school. The importance is maintaining enough energy in soccer and school at the same time."

Question Where do you see life taking you when your time at Northridge is over?

Answer "I would definitely be interested in continuing my playing career. I think it would be exciting to go to the next level. Off the field, I have always wanted to be probation officer and I'll probably pursue that after soccer."

Question Who do you look to for leadership on the team during tough situations?

Answer "Actually, I tend to turn to the entire team in general. I want to do well and work hard. My goal this season is to do as much as I can for the team and to go as far as we can, especially since this is my last year. Off the field, I would really have to say my mother. She has been there for me since day one and gives me advice that no one else could or would. She always has my best interests at heart."

Question Is there anyone player that helps keep the mood light in practice or during tense moments?

Answer " I would definitely have to say Heidi Farran. She has a bubbly personality that makes us laugh all the time. She basically takes on the role of her hair, which is blonde, with no abandon. She is always there for our entertainment."

Question What have been your thoughts on this year's crop of newcomers?

Answer "I think this year has been the first year where newcomers have come in right away and really contributed. They are pushing us to get better and a lot of them are capable of starting. With them, I really sense an attitude that they are here for the team, not just for themselves. The team-building exercises with ASREC were fun and good building blocks for the year."

Question What is it like having three other fifth-year seniors on the squad?

Answer "The seniors definitely have a good relationship with each other and the team. I think being all fifth-year seniors helps us be closer."

Question What makes you such a big fan of MTV's "The Hills"?

Answer "I like all of the drama on the show. It is fun to not be involved in it, but to just sit back and watch it unfold. If I had to choose someone on the cast to play my part in a Northridge movie, I would not choose Heidi. I would probably go with L.C. because it seems like she cares and is passionate."

Question What would you tell fans about coming out to a women's soccer match at Matador Soccer Field?

Answer "There is always a great atmosphere at the games and the new scoreboard I think really enhances the experience for the fans. As a team, we try to put on a great show every time. The more fans that come out and support, the more it makes us want to perform well for the school."