Sophomore forward Caitlin Miskel is a two-year starter on the Virginia women’s soccer team. This season, the Boca Raton, Fla. native has one goal and five assists. She and the fourth ranked Cavaliers host No. 21 Clemson Sunday afternoon at Klckner Stadium.
Question: Now that you are in your second season, what has been the biggest difference from last year to this year?
Miskel: I feel like this year I have become more accustomed to the whole UVa experience. Everything with school is easier now and that has made it easier to focus on soccer. Being with the team for a year has allowed me to be more comfortable with them on the field. I struggled a little bit with that my first year. This year I am lot more confident and that has definitely had an impact on the way I have been playing.
Question: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make last year as you began your college career?
Miskel: The girls are a lot stronger and the pace of the game is quicker. A lot of things you can do on the field in high school and club soccer, you can’t do in college soccer. That’s a big adjustment for most people as they enter college.
Question: You already have more assists this season (five) than you did all of last year (four). What has been the key to your success this season?
Miskel: I think having more confidence has a lot to do with it. I have done a better job of creating space for myself. I think that is something I am good at and have used that to my advantage. I have tried to make the most out of those chances and the assists have come. If I keep doing those things I will get more goals too.
Question: What has been the biggest highlight of your first season and a half at Virginia?
Miskel: The highlight has been going everywhere with this team, just being around these girls and this staff. Everyone is so great and they really impact your life. It changes who you are and you become a better person because of it. I think that is what our program has. It’s not just about soccer, we are developing people too and I think that is wonderful.
Question: You mention going everywhere with the team. Where has been your favorite place that the team has gone thus far?
Miskel: We went to Hawaii in March for spring break. It was really fun. The best part of it was we were together as a team for a week and really got to know each other. I think during the fall it is tougher to get to know your teammates, especially as a first-year when you are trying to adjust to school and soccer at a different level. Hawaii gave us an opportunity to talk and hang out. I got to get to know a lot of girls who I didn’t get to know that well in the fall a lot better on that trip.
Question: You are the only player on the team from Florida, a state that hasn’t produced many players that have played for UVa. What made you want to come to Virginia?
Miskel: The program speaks for itself. When you come here you see the girls interact with the coaches and you see the bond between them. I think that is so important and I wanted to be a part of a team like that. Everyone is so confident and we all believe we can compete for championships. We have all the talent to do that. That was a big thing for me along with being at a school where the academics are so strong. It was really the perfect fit for me.
Question: This season the ACC Tournament will be in your home state. How excited are you for that?
Miskel: I am really excited. I hope all of my friends can come. A lot of kids I went to high school with go to UCF, which is really close. My best friend goes to FSU and she is going to be there. My parents are so excited. I think Disney is a good place to have it. The fields are great and the weather is going to be beautiful. It should be a good experience.