Bronco Talk

Sept. 25, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With the men's soccer season in full stride, sophomore forward Kelechi Igwe sat down for a few minutes with Sports Editor Brian Betz. Kelechi has been an integral part of the team's 6-1-2 start, netting two goals and adding three assists to his credit. His 6-foot, 195 pound frame has made him a force against opposing defenses, especially in the possession game. The two discussed everything from this year's success thus far, his individual performance, the team dynamics and his new house.

BB: From unranked to 6-1-2 and ranked near the top 10. What's been the most influential factor for the hot start?

KI: It's been the closeness of the team. It's a privilege to be on the team right now. Last year we were a lot younger and didn't know what it took to win all these games and make it to the national championship. This year we've just come out with a different mentality.

BB: What mentality is that?

KI: We started the year out over in England, then came back here and started winning. And once you're in that kind of mode you just keep on going.

BB: Yeah I'd say so. Just three goals against in nine matches. Are there things that the team's done differently this year that you didn't do last year?

KI: Not necessarily. We just have more confidence now.

BB: Because you're older?

KI: Yeah, we know what it takes. Last year we had a couple rough games and didn't really know how to pick ourselves up.

BB: With 2 goals and 3 assists so far personally, grade your individual performance for me thus far.

KI: I'd give myself a B. I know I can play a lot better, but we're only at the beginning of the season and if I was playing my best right now it wouldn't be that good. But I'm starting to feel a lot better on the ball.

BB: Which conference games are going to be pivotal if you aspire to make the NCAA Tournament and hopefully go deep?

KI: All of them. But the main ones are going to be the teams we lost to last year. Portland and Gonzaga will be big. Outside of conference, Stanford definitely.

BB: I remember talking to you at the end of last year and you said that you'd need to win out the last few games for a chance at a bid into the tourney. Obviously you were snubbed, and unjustly I thought. Has that been a motivating factor for you guys?

KI: We don't talk about it but you know it's in the back of everyone's heads. We had a couple meetings and just said 'you know, think of how you felt watching the selection show and not making it.'

BB: What would you say is the strongest part of your game?

KI: What I try and do a lot is movement off the ball. As a forward you have to be mobile and be able to find the spaces. So I've felt more comfortable making runs.

BB: OK, be honest, what's the weakest part of your game?

KI: I'd have to say quickness. People might argue and say I'm quick but I think I could be a lot quicker.

BB: You know I played premier-1 ball as a center midfielder up in Washington for seven years. Where would I stack up if I came out there?

KI: Ya know, I don't know. I've never seen you play. You'd be competing against Audren Cashman, Jason Cunliffe and Erik Ustruck.

BB: Alright, well tell them an out-of-shape writer might be hitting the field next year.

KI: Ha, ha.

BB: Hardly.

BB: Moving on, how's the house treating you? It's looked like "Trading Spaces" over there all summer with people doing work on it.

KI: It's a lot of fun. There's eight soccer guys over there. It's cool 'cause we go play soccer and then [we] all are able to come back and hang out at the house.

Postmatch Quotes
December 12, 2003 Postmatch Quotes
Postmatch Quotes
November 30, 2003 Postmatch Quotes
Walker Reaching New Heights
November 13, 2003 Walker Reaching New Heights
One on One with Matt Upton
October 20, 2003 One on One with Matt Upton
Bronco Talk
September 29, 2003 Bronco Talk
Back Where They Belong
August 19, 2003 Back Where They Belong