Q&A with senior Kendall McBrearty
Senior Kendall McBrearty was named MVP of the ACC Tournament for a second-straight season, becoming just the second player ever to do so. McBrearty led the Cavaliers in back-to-back, come-from-behind, 10-9, victories over Duke and Maryland, respectively, for Virginia’s third-straight ACC Championship. With the tournament title, the Cavaliers earned the ACC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and will play host to conference-foe North Carolina in Klckner Stadium on Sunday, May 11 at 1 p.m.
Question: How did it feel to win the ACC Championship for a third straight season?
McBrearty: Winning the ACC Tournament as a senior was awesome. To go out on top, especially in the way that we did it, and to be named MVP, is a tremendous honor.
Question: What does winning the ACC Title do for your confidence going into the NCAA Tournament?
McBrearty: Just to know going into the NCAA Tournament that we can come back from anything, five-goal deficits this year and a nine-goal deficit in last year’s championship, is a huge confidence boost.
Question: What were the last three minutes of the championship game like?
McBrearty: It was the longest three minutes of my life. I had total faith in our attackers to be able to handle the ball in that time, and I knew after we won that draw control that we were going to win the game.
Question: What is it that gives you the ability to come back in big game situations?
McBrearty: Going into halftime, I knew I was going to have to step it up. I knew that I had to have a big second half, but I knew that my defense was going to step up in front of me, as well. And that helped my confidence. Coming out of halftime and knowing that we have the ability to come back, because we’ve done it before, helped keep me calm and able to come up with the big saves.
Question: What did the coaches tell you at halftime?
McBrearty: They told us that the only way we were going to come back was if we did it as a team. We had to chip away, one goal at a time. For the championship game, we were playing cautious in the first half and we weren’t executing what we could have. We knew that if we could go out there and execute what we needed to, we could win. So, before halftime was over, we agreed that we weren’t going to play scared anymore. We had to make changes and we were going to make the changes as a team, because we have the ability to do so. So we did, we didn’t play scared and we won.