It’s tough to make an impact when you’re a freshman, but that’s exactly what USF women’s soccer player Ebony Robinson is doing.
Born in Chicago, Robinson was a four-year letter winner at Winter Park High School in Orlando.
For the Bulls, Robinson is starting to play a greater offensive role, and the speedy forward is fourth on the team in shot percentage (.143). She even scored the game-winning goal in the Bulls’ game against Stetson on Sept. 5.
Robinson sat down with Asst. Sports Editor Tony Marquis to reflect on her first collegiate goal, her inspirations and her aspirations for life after school.
TM: How did you know that USF was right for you?
ER: When I came here and I met the coaches, coach (Logan) Fleck came and approached me as a friend and not just talking about soccer. He just came up, talking academics and was concerned about me more.
TM: More about the academics. What do you want to do?
ER: That’s funny, because my mind changes a lot about what I want to do. When I first talked to Fleck, I wanted to be a lawyer – a family lawyer – then I changed. I wanted to do physical therapy. Now I’m more thinking about business administration.
TM: How would you describe your attitude on the field?
ER: My attitude (is) more determined to get to the ball. When I lose the ball I get more frustrated, and tell myself that, “Ebony, you need to get to it next time; you need to pick it up.” When I’m hurt I try to put that in the back of my mind.
TM: Do you get hurt a lot?
ER: I have chronic back pain. I’ve had asthma for a long time.
TM: How do you fight through that? I mean asthma and soccer; that’s not a very good mix.
ER: It’s pretty bad (laughs). I don’t let it get me down or use it as an excuse that I can’t play. A lot of my family has asthma.
TM: You’re from Chicago?
ER: Yeah, I lived there until I was about 8, and I moved here.
TM: So are you a Bulls or a Bears fan?
ER: I was a Bulls fan until they lost their coach, Phil Jackson.
TM: You like the “Zen Master?”
ER: Yeah, I like the Bulls, but I’m not that into basketball anymore. The Lakers keep winning!
TM: You don’t like the Lakers? Who is your team?
ER: Probably the 76ers just ’cause of Allen Iverson.
TM: Why A.I.?
ER: ‘Cause he’s fine (laughs).
TM: So, who’s your idol?
ER: My mom. She’s just always been there for me; she’s a single parent. She’ll definitely tell me what I need to do. She’s my biggest critic and my biggest supporter.
TM: You played flag football in high school?
ER: Yeah, for two years. I was defensive end.
TM: Do you play in the intramural leagues?
ER: No, I haven’t been out there yet.
TM: Do you have any tips for the flag football players here?
ER: (Laughs.) Oh, man. Um, anticipate.
TM: How long have you been playing soccer?
ER: Since first grade. Being Jamaican, I grew up with soccer.
TM: Give me something that Jamaicans say.
ER: They speak English, just with an accent. I know some bad words. I don’t know. My favorite food is curried chicken.
TM: What music do you like?
ER: Hip-Hop. Reggae. I’m really into the reggae thing right now.
TM: Favorite artist?
ER: I really like Bob Marley, ’cause my best friend who passed away always listened to him.
TM: You guys were really close?
ER: Me and him were like that. He got me into Bob Marley. He was the funniest boy I’ve ever met in my life. He was there for me when I needed him. He’s gone now, but he’s still there with me in my heart, and forever I’ll love Andrate.
TM: Wow, that’s tough.
ER: Yeah, but I turn it into a positive.
TM: Back to soccer. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
ER: Since I’ve been at USF? Probably against Stetson; I blacked out. I mean, I replay it now, it’s embarrassing but, cause all you hear is the crowd go, “Oh!”
TM: Describe the feeling of scoring your first collegiate goal.
ER: It’s one of the greatest feelings. I didn’t even believe it at first. After the game I was just so excited I ran back I told my whole family “I just scored my first college goal!”
TM: You worked at a movie theater, right? Can I get some free popcorn?
ER: Where do you get all these things from? That was my first job last summer.
TM: Favorite movie?
ER: So far, 40-Year-Old Virgin.
TM: Do you want to do something with movies?
ER: Nah, I just worked there for the money and free tickets. I don’t want to do anything with movies. I want to open up my own club and restaurant.
TM: Are you going to serve curried chicken and play reggae?
ER: (Laughs.) It is going to be a Jamaican restaurant. It’s going to have the club downstairs and the restaurant upstairs.
TM: Sounds like you’ve given it a lot of thought.
ER: I don’t have a name yet.
TM: How about Club Ebony?
ER: (Laughs.) I don’t know about that.