April 29, 2009

Frankie Ross: Q and A Interview

Last season, midfielder Frankie Ross, paced the Viking squad throughout Big Sky Conference play. Her eight points in conference games guaranteed her a share of the Golden Boot Award. With two years left at Portland State, Ross has the ability to finish as one of the conference's all-time play makers. The 2008 Big Sky All-Conference First Team member recently spoke with Women's Soccer Weekly.

Photo Credit: Scott Larson

Q. What have you been working on this spring?

A. This spring we have been working on team defending, our speed of play, and just plain playing better. We are playing to win. We are not complacent with ties. Specifically, I have been working on my first touch, speed of play, and going at people on the field. Improving in these areas will allow me to be a threat anywhere I play on the field.

Q. What is one thing that you want to improve on as you head into the fall schedule?

A. Heading into the Fall, I want to improve on my 1 vs 1 attacking. I really need to go at defenders more. I often make runs on the side, as I'm an outside midfielder, and get the ball with only one defender to beat to get to goal. This summer I will be working on isolating the defender and beating them quickly, so I can go to goal as fast as possible. Repetition will cause me to be more confident in this aspect than I am now. Also, I really need to hit the weight room so that I can have a more physical presence on the field.

Q. Where is the toughest away venue to compete at in the conference?

A. The toughest away venue to compete at is definitely in Flagstaff at Northern Arizona. They are great team and any game with them is always competitive, however traveling to NAU makes it that much harder. First just getting there is an ordeal in itself. There's the plane ride, and then after that you get to look forward to about a 90 minute car ride, weaving through canyons. Then the field itself is pretty big, which normally wouldn't be too big of a deal, but combined with the altitude you really begin to feel the toll of each run that you make up and down the field. My freshman year, I remember feeling like I was trying to run through water, I was so slow, I just couldn't move. Put simply, I truly hate going to Flagstaff.

Q. What was your favorite moment from the past season?

A. My favorite moment from this past season was when we played USC. It was probably the biggest weekend that Portland State soccer has ever had: USC and UCLA in one weekend, two teams that had been in the final four the year before, and one of them being the champion. Although we did end up losing the game 2-0 we played with them for all 90 minutes, and even had them on their heels for a good portion of it. I think this was my favorite moment because this game our team matched the caliber of play of a national championship team. We showed people not only who we were, but also that we came to play.

Q. Will you be playing at all this summer?

A. Last summer I went home and played for a women's semi-pro team in the Women's Premiere Soccer League in the Bay Area. This summer I will be staying in Portland so I'm currently looking for a team to join. However, a bunch of girls on the Portland State team will be staying here this summer so we will all be working out together and playing together as well.

Q. What is the outlook for the team this fall?

A. I'm really excited about our team's outlook for this fall. Although we lost some great seniors, we still retained a lot of talent. Also, the development the team has made this winter and spring is phenomenal. We are making second man runs off the ball that we didn't even see in the fall, we are defending much better as a team, our speed of play has increased, and our communication has grown as well. Individually, each player's technique has improved a lot over the winter in regards to first touch, settling the ball, and being able to play quickly. Also, many players are beginning to step up and take on roles that they didn't necessarily have in the fall. Finally, I'm most looking forward to the incoming freshmen that will be joining us next fall. Laura [Schott - Women's Head Coach] talks very highly of them, and I'm excited to see how they will add to our team's talent, and most of all the added competition for playing time, as competition will only make us better.