Story Links

Zola Short is a senior defender on the Virginia men’s soccer team from Arlington, Va. He has made 51 starts on the backline over the past three seasons. On Friday at 7 p.m., he and the rest of the 10th-ranked Cavaliers host No. 23 Duke on Friday.

Question: As a fourth-year player and third-year starter, how have you emerged as a leader on the team?
Short: It’s a role I’ve grown into as I’ve gotten older. My first year, I didn’t play that much, and then second year, I saw more minutes and got a little more comfortable. As I’ve grown more comfortable over the years, I’ve really been able to grow as a leader.

Question: How has your role on the defense changed?

Short: For one, my position’s changed. I was originally an outside back, and I’ve moved to center back. It’s a little bit of a different position. I don’t get to run and go forward as much, but it’s been fun.

Question: What has it been like switching to the middle after two years on the outside?
Short: Although I don’t do as much running, I do a little bit more organizing since I’m in the center of the play.

Question: What does the defense need to do in order to be effective for the rest of this home stand?
Short: The Liberty game was a good example of everything that we need to do for the rest of the home stand. We need to get in and be around the ball, be a little quicker. Against Liberty we did a good job. We were organized, we were in position, we got around the ball, and we didn’t give them a lot of time with the ball. I think that we need to keep doing what we did in that game.

Question: What do you think the team is capable of achieving this season?
Short: I don’t think that we’ve reached our full potential. I don’t think that anyone’s seen the best out of us yet. I don’t even want to say; I don’t want to jinx it.

Question: What has been your most memorable moment as a Cavalier?

Short: It’s hard to say, but the game where we got the Final Four last year was a great time. Being at the Final Four was amazing; it’s something that I’ll never forget. What happened on the field, I’d like to forget that, but all of last season was fantastic.

Question: What are your post-graduation plans?
Short: I’m just going to see what happens.

Question: What are you going to take away from Virginia soccer?
Short: I’ve made great friends, fantastic friends. I’m going to take away all those friendships and all the good memories. Those will be with me for the rest of my life.

Print Friendly Version