Catching Up with Becca Thomas

Sept. 19, 2008

The UCF women's soccer team is primed and ready to make another run at the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season. After last year's success, the Knights look for more great passing and leadership from junior midfielder Becca Thomas.

Thomas led Conference USA last season with 11 assists, and finished 10th in the league with 19 total points. She is already off to a good start this season with a game winning goal that helped UCF defeat Hartford in the home opener. The Knights start conference play on Sept. 26, when they visit UAB.

How is the team chemistry this year as opposed to last season?
"Chemistry is really good this year. Having four seniors on the team is one of the main differences. Their leadership has been just as good, if not better than last year. They are doing an excellent job."

After reaching the NCAA tournament last season, is there more pressure on the team to repeat?
"I don't think there is necessarily more pressure on us, but I think it is more expected of us now to make it back. We need to reach that level again this season, or even make it further than last year."

What is your major? What influenced you to choose it?
"My major is currently elementary education. I really enjoy kids. I have worked a lot of soccer camps and really enjoying working with the kids. First grade would be an ideal grade for me because I really enjoy the younger kids, and having a younger brother has also helped me to decide my major."

How difficult is it to maintain a solid GPA during the season?
"It is difficult when we are traveling a lot and missing classes, but as long as you stay on top of it and are organized, then it isn't too difficult. You have to be in constant contact with your professors. Staying on top of your work is the key to maintaining your grades. Right now I am currently taking all education classes because it is my junior year."

How much of an influence has your family been in your life and your soccer career?
"Both of my parents didn't really play sports, and my dad coaches high school football. He was really involved with my brother who is a year younger than me. No one from my family has played soccer, so it was something I just liked. They have supported me no matter what in all I have done. I started playing soccer at age five, but didn't get serious until age 13 when I started playing on a traveling team."

Being from Burlington, Wash., what was the hardest transition to make when you arrived at UCF?
"The heat. I remember coming a week before preseason camp started freshman year and thinking I am not going to be able to play here because it is so hot. I was sweating after every training session, and I didn't think I would ever become as good as I am now. Right now, I am fitter than I have ever been, but the transition to the heat was definitely the hardest."

What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
"If possible, I would like to continue playing soccer after college. We are getting a professional league here, so I would like to play for them. If playing professionally does not work out, then definitely teaching first grade. In 10 years I would hope to still be a soccer player because I came to college early and will only be 20 after my graduation. I want to keep playing soccer as long as I can."

- Eric DeSalvo