Quite A Catch

Deidre Bass should know all about highs and lows. Back in 1998, Bass was just a freshman on a University of Miami soccer team that opened some eyes with a 11-7-1 record in their first year of existence.

On the other hand, she can also talk about the disappointment felt just a year ago when high expectations came crashing down and the Hurricanes finished with a losing record.

And the rollar coaster doesn't end there.

The Hurricanes are currently enjoying the ride of their lives and Bass is one of the major reasons why. Miami has ran off five straight victories to open the season, there best start ever. A victory over defending SEC champ Florida vaulted Miami into the national rankings for the first time ever at No. 14.

Miami head coach Jim Blankenship knows exactly who is partly responsible for the Hurricanes rapid rise into one of the nation's elite teams.

"Dee has been tremendous for us all season. She is quite the leader and is a very smart player. She doesn't get cheated a whole lot," Blankenship said.

Bass, a senior, is listed as a defender. But a rash of early-season injuries have forced her to move all over the field. She's responded accordingly.

Bass has been instrumental all season both on offense and defense. She has been part of a Hurricanes defense that has recorded two shutouts in their last three games and has allowed one goal in 240 minutes.

Bass also delivered the only goal against the Gators as the Hurricanes made it stand up with a 1-0 win. Winning in Gainsville was especially gratifying for Bass, whose sister Danielle was a member of the 1998 Florida national championship squad. The Gators also tried recruiting Bass out of high school, though she felt Gainsville wasn't the right place.

"It's kind of special to go into Gainsville and walk out with a victory," Bass said. "My sister was there, cheering for both sides. It was kind of fun."

For Bass along with the success, have come the rewards.

Bass earned several honors last week after the Hurricanes 3-0 week, which included also victories over Florida Atlantic and Central Florida. She was named Big East Defender of the Week, along with making the Soccer Buzz National Elite Team and Soccer America Team of the Week, last week.

"I've never really gotten anything so it was very nice to be though of in that manner, Bass said. "It was kind of cool."

Although she is thankful for the awards, Bass recognizes the Hurricanes jump out of the gates has been a team effort. The difference between this season's team to last year's squad is attitude and team chemistry, says Bass.

"Its been a difference. Last year we went into the Florida game thinking if we played well that was good enough. This year we went over there expecting to come home with a win," Bass said.

Most of the girls spent the off-season working together and have also maintained relationships off the field resulting in a improved product on the field.

"The girls are all hanging out and that definitely builds up chemistry," Bass said.

Bass also knows that five games won't make the Hurricanes season. Still remaining on the schedule are games against FIU and the Big East conference, including matches against powers Notre Dame, Syracuse and Connecticut.

"First of all we need to take it one game at a time," Bass said. We can't lose focus. We'll just have to continue to work hard and be ready to go."

If Bass gets her wish the Hurricanes will be playing in both the Big East and national tournaments later this season. Although, she prefers the Hurricanes take baby steps.

"We can't look past anybody," Bass said.

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