Daniel Pavitt, a senior out of Temecula, has been a stalwart on the backline of the UC San Diego men's soccer team since the 2006 season. Leading the Tritons' active players in career starts (56), Pavitt and the UCSD defense have allowed just six goals in its first eight games of 2009. That total is the second-lowest in the California Collegiate Athletic Association behind defending national champion Cal State Dominguez Hills. While most of his time is spent keeping goals out of the Tritons' net, Pavitt tallied his first score on the offensive end during the 15th minute of a road match with Cal State Stanislaus on Sept. 18. Before heading off on a road trip to Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State San Bernardino as UCSD (3-1-4 overall, 0-1-3 CCAA) continues league play, Pavitt took a few minutes to discuss soccer, school and his unique teammates.
Q: With 16 players on your roster being juniors and seniors, the Tritons seem to have the luxury of having a lot of leaders. What role do you play in that mix on and off the field?
PAVITT: I feel like the unofficial leader, actually. I want to be the guy that doesn't necessarily act like everyone's mother in the way that a captain can sometimes come off, but the guy who still tries to instill enthusiasm in everyone while just being one of the regular guys on the team. At least I hope that's the position I've taken!
Q: Having played the past two seasons with guys like Jared Kukura, Josh Jackson and Peter Akman, what is your comfort level like with the defenders around you?
PAVITT: Those are the guys that I feel most comfort in on the team, with a select few others. It's just nice to know what is going to happen, whether it be good or bad, when those players get the ball because the next step becomes so much easier to prepare for. Whether it's Jerry winning a header, J.J. dribbling past three guys or Pete pushing a ball wide with his fingertips...comfort becomes an understatement.
Q: While continuing your solid play as a defender all these years, what was it like to score your first career goal as a Triton on the road against Cal State Stanislaus?
PAVITT: Whenever I think about scoring from a personal perspective, I always think of Chase Douglas who played on the team a few years back. He was one of the better players on the team, always giving 110 percent and doing some great things in games that would certainly help the team. But he never scored in his four years at UCSD! My point being that I was ready to be content with not scoring and getting as close to "the role of Chase" on our team as possible, but I will say that it doesn't disappoint me that I scored.
Q: With roughly one-fourth of the CCAA schedule completed, what has the team done well and what needs to be improved on?
PAVITT: I think that our team has come together better than any other team that I have been a part of here at UCSD, on and off the field. What this translates to on the field is what our coach calls "sticking together," meaning that even in the hardest times when it seems like we're getting hounded by other teams, we will stick together and not let each other down. That seems like it has turned into the unofficial motto of our team - "Stick together" -- like the Mighty Ducks and their "Flying V."
Q: What's the best advice you've received from UCSD head coach Jon Pascale?
PAVITT: Jon has said some things that I won't forget -- and some things I don't remember -- but I think that the most useful things that he has offered us are shown not in what he directly says, but in the way that he acts. It is just so easy to see the passion that he possesses, as well as his assistants, especially in times that we, as a team, need to see that from the coaching staff. There's only so much a coach can say, but when you can physically see the passion in the coach, the words coming from his mouth become the icing on the cake.
Q: Out of all your teammates, who would have the highest chance of succeeding as a stand-up comedian?
PAVITT: I know that everyone on the team will easily agree -- Shane Micheil. The man just has an indescribable energy that I don't think many people can trump. Specifically pertaining to being a comedian though, he's definitely not shy to call someone out on something, whether he knows them or not. Everything he says leaves someone laughing and he's certainly not mean by any regard, but let's just say I'm happy to be on his side! I'm sure some people on the team may want to duct tape his mouth 85 percent of the time, though.
Q: If you had to elect one of your teammates for political office in the state of California, who would you vote for?
PAVITT: Josh Jackson. The guy has a couple passions: Sportscenter and Poker. When it comes to those things, he is an information machine who isn't swayed by any other opinion for the reason that he literally knows every single detail about both things. He would be a dangerous candidate if he translated those qualities into politics. As Californians, we could certainly rely on him to win any verbal argument, and if he lost, he'd go cleats-up on him.
Q: As a Communications major at Warren College, what has been the best class you've taken at UCSD and why?
PAVITT: I took a Communication Practicum class last year, COMT 175, that was awesome. It required us, as a class of 15, to create a newsletter for the Communications website, as well as organize and hold an event for, but not limited to Communication majors. This event would have alumni that were Communication majors speak about success after graduation and what would help aspiring Communication majors do well. We conducted everything ourselves, from the catering to parking passes, and even advertising. It was a real-life glimpse at what people had gone on to do, and it certainly opened my mind to things I didn't know I wanted to do.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
PAVITT: Pending acceptance, I hope to join the Peace Corps in September 2010. It is something that I have wanted to do since I can remember and I'm so happy that I have finally sent in my application and committed to it. If I get my own way, I want to go to South America somewhere and it's certain that I'll be spreading the Triton Love to the people down there.
Q: Across the other Triton sports, what is your favorite team to watch in your offseason?
PAVITT: Basketball! Knowing some of those guys off the court, they're all so fun so it's definitely enjoyable to watch them and get headaches from screaming too much. Plus, a lot of those guys came to our games last year and heckled the other team so we have to return the favor! This year, I want to be the guy with the body paint. Watch out!
Q: Seeing that one of your hobbies is surfing, where is your favorite spot to catch a wave? What exotic surfing destination would you most like to visit?
PAVITT: Surfing Scripps Pier, or "Scraps," in our own backyard, is my local spot. Whether it's toes-to-the-nose time on the high tide rollers, or shred-the-gnar-ville on the thick twice-a-year barrels, that place is my rock. The exotic place I want to go is probably Indo or somewhere like that. I can't get my head around surfing amazing waves in 80-degree water, so that would certainly be a dream. Shout out to my boy Cheeze, a local pro.
Previous Q & A Articles
Daniel Anderson (Cross Country) September 11, 2009
Peter Gresham (Men's Water Polo) September 2, 2009
Alexia Zatarain (Women's Soccer) August 24, 2009
Elaine Chen (Women's Volleyball) August 12, 2009
Jared Kukura (Men's Soccer) July 30, 2009
Dawn Lee (Former Women's Soccer Standout) July 8, 2009
Rob Mamula (Director of Athletic Performance) June 18, 2009
Garrett Imeson (Baseball) June 8, 2009
Leon Baham (Men's Track & Field) May 21, 2009
Kristyn Lesovsky (Softball) May 8, 2009
Kazumi Negishi (Men's Tennis) May 5, 2009
Laiah Blue (Women's Track & Field) April 16, 2009
Ryan Andre (Men's Crew) April 2, 2009
Josh Tanner (Baseball) March 24, 2009
Anju Shimura (Women's Swimming) March 7, 2009
Stephanie Bocian (Women's Water Polo) February 20, 2009
Lauren Chastain (Softball) February 5, 2009
A.J. Maulhardt (Men's Basketball) January 28, 2009
Annette Ilg (Women's Basketball) January 22, 2009
Steven Hardy (Men's Swimming) January 13, 2009
Frank Fritsch (Men's Volleyball) January 5, 2009
Kendall Bohn (Women's Swimming) December 22, 2008
Kelvin Kim (Men's Basketball) December 15, 2008
Michelle Osier (Women's Basketball) December 5, 2008
Sylvia Schmidt (Women's Volleyball) November 7, 2008
Denny Harper (Men's Water Polo Head Coach) October 17, 2008
Ron Larsen (USA Volleyball Assistant Coach) October 13, 2008
Jessica McGovern (Women's Soccer) October 6, 2008
Bre Schofield (Cross Country) September 26, 2008
Tony Fernandez (Men's Soccer) September 18,2008
Kimberly Carpenter (Women's Volleyball) September 12, 2008
A.J. Kotanjian (Men's Water Polo) September 2, 2008
Peter Akman (Men's Soccer) August 21, 2008
Natasha Belak-Berger (Women's Soccer) August 15, 2008
Jake LaVieux (Men's Cross Country) August 8, 2008
Dr. Penny Rue (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs) July 30, 2008
Michelle Torres (Women's Volleyball) July 15, 2008
Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer Head Coach) July 1, 2008
Julie Ertel (Athletics) June 16, 2008
Clint Allard (Men's Basketball) June 9, 2008
Jen Myers (Women's Crew) May 27, 2008
Casey Ryan (Men's Track and Field and Men's Basketball) May 21, 2008
Keith Noe (Baseball) May 13, 2008
Liz LaPlante (Women's Tennis Head Coach) April 30, 2008
Sydney Gstettenbauer (Women's Water Polo) April 22, 2008
Sarah Hendy (Women's Track and Field) April 17, 2008
Eric Leserman (Men's Volleyball) April 9, 2008
Danielle Lukk (Softball) April 4, 2008
Chris Franco (Baseball) March 24, 2008
Dan Perdew (Swimming) March 18, 2008