Q & A With Ross LaBauex
Senior midfielder Ross LaBauex (Chicago, Ill.) recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the team’s season and his last home game on Saturday, Nov. 7. The Cavaliers take on NC State on Senior Night, and kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium.
Question: Talk about your team’s momentum right now. UVa is unbeaten with a 5-0-2 record in its last seven games, including a 3-0 win over American on Tuesday night.
LaBauex: We’re just getting better as the season has gone on. We’ve been working extremely hard in practice, and it was great to get three goals vs. American for the win. Heading into the game against NC State on Saturday, we’ll continue to work hard and get ready for the ACC Tournament after that.
Question: Saturday is Senior Night. You’re one of five players being honored prior to the match (Neil Barlow, Jordan Evans, Chase Neinken and Jonathan Villanueva are the others). How will it feel to play your last regular-season game at Klöckner Stadium?
LaBauex: It’s a bittersweet type of feeling. I’m going to miss my teammates and all the fans and I’ll miss playing for my school. It’s been a great four years. I want this season to go on as long as it can. It will be exciting to have all my family there, and hopefully we will have a big crowd. The three other seniors have been great teammates and more importantly great friends to me.
Question: What are your plans after graduation?
LaBauex: I’ll be graduating in December. After that, trying to see if a team is interested in me. Hopefully I can get picked up and play professionally.
Question: Talk about the defense being a key component of the team’s recent success, including four-consecutive shutouts.
LaBauex: I think that we are learning from our mistakes. The goals that we did give up, we knew we could do better. During practice we give it our all and stay tight and communicate with each other. It helps to have Diego Restrepo in goal, telling everyone where they need to be. As long as we talk and help each other out and keep fighting for each other, I think we’ll continue to be a good defensive team.
Question: What can you tell us about NC State?
LaBauex: NC State is having a good year. We actually lost to them in the spring, so there will be a little bit of a revenge factor there. It’s also a key game heading into the postseason that could really change some things around as far as the standings. We’d like to make sure we get a result.
Question: What community service efforts are you involved in as a team?
LaBauex: We do a lot of different things throughout the year. We’ve helped out at soup kitchens and the Salvation Army. We do a blood drive in the spring. And some of the guys are involved in the ACE program, they go to local schools for an hour and you talk with the children and act as mentors for them. That’s always fun.