Junior Paula Faherty, a three-year starter in the midfield, is one of the Illini''s staples. She was named to the All-Big Ten tournament team a year ago and was also honored as an All-Academic Big Ten selection. As a freshman, her five assists tied for the team lead.
Q:Now that the regular season is over, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate it?
A:I don''t know, it would be pretty difficult to rate this season. We did have our ups and downs, but overall I think – especially coming off (Tuesday''s) win – we''re sitting pretty good.
Q:Did you need a win like that?
A:Definitely, to pick us up. It helped that we came from behind, too, because that''s something we haven''t done all year.
Q:We read where before every match you "kiss my lucky duck." Care to explain?
A:I got this lucky duck from high school, and it sits in my locker. I just kiss it. Like a rubber duck. Like Rubber Ducky.
Q:How did this get started?
A:I don''t really know. My favorite movies are the Mighty Ducks movies, so it just started like that, I guess.
Q:You also described yourself as "diplomatic." How so?
A:People always come to me with problems. People always come to me to help solve them.
Q:You''re like the Dr. Phil of the soccer team. Are you any good?
Q:Is it part of your role on this team?
A:I would say it is part of my role. Trying to keep things calm. We''re together all the time, so you''re trying to keep everything relaxed and everyone happy with each other.
Q:How long did it take you to tell the Karniski twins apart?
A:There''s a secret. One of them has bangs. So once you figured the secret out, it was pretty easy.
Q:You guys were in the same recruiting class. Could you tell right away?
A:No. Coming in, I couldn''t tell them apart until they told me that one of them had bangs and one didn''t.
Q:You''re from Virginia. Is Virginia really for lovers?
A:Yeah, you know ...
Q:Where did that come from?
A:I have no idea, but there''s t-shirts all over Virginia about it.
Q:Pro-Chief or anti-Chief?
A:I''m pro-Chief. I like the Chief. I''m proud of him.
Q:I ask this of all the athletes from out-of-state. Before you got here, did you have any idea of the furor over the Chief?
A:No, I had absolutely no idea.
Q: Does it surprise you?
Q: Yeah, it is pretty surprising how controversial it is. Especially being athletes.
Q: Do you ever feel like you''re in the middle of the controversy?
Q: No, not really. It just helps us pick our sides.
Q:Bush or Kerry?
A:I don''t really know. I haven''t really decided yet. It''s coming down to crunch time.
Q:Reality TV: can''t live with it or can''t live without it?
A:I really like reality TV. Starting with "Survivor." From Day 1, I loved it. I couldn''t get enough.
Q: What are you watching these days?
A: Oh, man. Any reality TV show. But obviously I love "Real World" and "Road Rules" on MTV.
Q:What''s in your CD player these days?
A:Right now I have John Mayer. I''ve always liked him, as soon as he came out. It gets me ready for games. Relaxes me.