Q & A With Will Bates
Freshman forward Will Bates (Chester, Va.) recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to preview this week’s match vs. Longwood and to discuss the season so far. The Cavaliers play the Lancers Wednesday night at Klöckner Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Question: How is your first year of college soccer going?
Bates: I think it’s going pretty well so far. I would like to be scoring more goals. I’ve scored one so far. My goal has been to score about 10 goals this year and I haven’t done that.
Question: Talk about that first goal at Portland in September.
Bates: I came in at halftime of that game, and three minutes into the half I scored my first goal. I was playing outside midfielder and nobody ended up near me so I tucked it in near post. Scoring my first goal as a freshman was a great feeling.
Question: How did your experience playing with the United States Under-18 National Team this summer help prepare you for playing at Virginia?
Bates: When I play with the national team, the kids are very intelligent players and they are very physical. When I came here, it was an easy transition in respect to getting to know and playing with guys that are more talented than I am.
Question: Being from the Richmond area, did you always know you wanted to attend UVa?
Bates: I looked at a few different schools, but mainly was always thinking about coming here. I committed early and loved the facilities, the coaches and always really enjoyed it here.
Question: Do you have a favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?
Bates: Well the best thing for me is the games. Playing under the lights, in front of our fans who are awesome. Also I just enjoy hanging out with my teammates and just enjoying college.
Question: How are you preparing for Longwood?
Bates: Well Coach Gelnovatch wants us to focus on thinking of this match as a qualifier. Our legs should be rested and ready to go, so we will come out the same as if this was an ACC game.
Question: You have four ACC matches left: at Virginia Tech, at Maryland and home vs. NC State and Boston College. What are your goals heading into the second half of conference play?
Bates: The biggest thing for us is that we want to win out. Playing at Maryland is going to be incredibly challenging – their environment is tough. At Virginia Tech, they are our rivals in nature. And our home games, we’re looking for the wins.
Question: Was there a professional player that you modeled your game after as a youngster?
Bates: Wayne Rooney. He’s plays for England and Manchester United. People say I look like him and he plays the same sort of game.