Nov. 13, 2003
As the men's soccer team looks to end its regular season with a perfect 6-0-0 record in the West Coast Conference, no one has played a more important role in the team's success than junior midfielder Will Weatherly. The former walk-on turned team leader in goals and points looks to increase the team's chances for a high NCAA Tournament seed going into Monday's selection show with a win Saturday against LMU. Weatherly sat down Wednesday with Sports Editor Brian Betz to discuss his first-ever WCC Men's Soccer Player of the Week honor, his success in the classroom and even his outlook on the NCAA tourney.
BB: Did you expect to win Player of the Week honors after your game-winning goal against No. 17 San Diego?
WW: I hadn't really thought about it. A couple guys on the team we're like "yeah, WCC Player of the Week could be in the cards" and my girlfriend was like "yeah you're gonna get it" or whatever, but I was just happy with winning the conference championship and being WCC Player of the Week was just kind of like icing on the cake.
BB: What's the honor mean to you?
WW: It means I guess that I had a big goal in a big game. I'm excited about that but now it just comes down to now we're in the tournament.
BB: You're now also eligible for Academic All-American honors. What's that mean to you as well as, I'm assuming, your parents?
WW: My parents were super-psyched. I got three or four phone calls from them. They left messages on my machine, five-minute long messages of them babbling on the phone because they were so happy. I'm happy about it, it's nice to be noticed for the work I'm putting in but we'll see if I get it.
BB: How do you manage the regimen of being a college athlete with having a 3.6 GPA as an accounting major?
WW: I just try and get to class. As long as I get to class I feel like I have a chance of doing well in it. Not staying out too late to be able to get up in the morning.
BB: Do you have any study tips for someone like me with an unmentionable GPA?
WW: I don't know. I guess maybe start studying a couple days before an exam instead of the night before. That's kind of nerdy, but whatever.
BB: Well I'm about a half-hour before the exam is when I start studying. But do you have any major career plans that involve either accounting or soccer?
WW: Right now I'm trying to figure out what I want to do in the next couple years.
BB: Any interest in the MLS?
WW: Yeah, I'm looking to maybe play in Colorado for like a reserve team to get a little bit of experience. But if I had the chance I would definitely do it.
BB: Did you feel like you guys were underrated at the beginning of the year before being nationally ranked in the top-10 most of the season?
WW: I don't think guys came in thinking we were underrated, I think people were looking at last year and that was a completely different team. Even though a lot of the same pieces were there, we've matured a lot.
BB: Are you worried at all that the same ridiculous seeding that happened to the women will happen to you guys?
WW: That's crossed my mind but I don't know, I'm hoping that with a strong win at LMU we shouldn't leave anything to chance.
BB: Will it matter where you guys are seeded?
WW: It will always be nice to play here at home in front of our fans but we've been successful on the road. So I feel that even if we do have to travel, I like our chances.
BB: How will you account for the losses of [Ryan] Cochrane and [Steve] Cronin?
WW: They'll obviously be missed. They're two great players but our bench is deep. And I think we'll have players that can come in and step-in and fill the void. Kent [Harkness] will be good in goal and we've got a couple guys in the back, either Zach [Knight] or [Ryan] Purtell who can fill in at center-back.
BB: Kelechi [Igwe] wanted me to ask you who your favorite forward is to play with on the team?
WW: I like them all but me and Kelechi [Igwe] have hooked up for a few goals. So I guess, I guess Kelechi [Igwe].
BB: You're currently two points ahead of him for the team-lead in scoring for the regular season. Is he going to catch you come Saturday?
WW: We'll see. Hopefully I can beat him out.
BB: Not feed him the ball as much?
BB: Ha. Lastly, you were born on Christmas Day. Would the best Christmas gift/birthday present be winning a national title?
WW: I can't think of anything better right now.