This week the Virginia women’s soccer team travels to the Penn State Invitational. The No. 7 Cavaliers meet the No. 11 Nittany Lions Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Connecticut on Sunday at noon. Virginiasports.com caught up with senior forward Meghan Lenczyk to discuss the team’s strong start to the season and preview this week’s matches.
Question: Teams often talk about the key to starting a season strong. With shutout wins over Liberty and Colgate, scoring 10 goals in those games, could you have had a better start to this season?
Lenczyk: It is always good to get two wins in the opening week of the season. Those games last week gave us a lot of confidence in terms of where we are as a team, especially as we get ready for a difficult weekend against Penn State and UConn.
Question: Can some of the early success this season be attributed to the fact that you have 10 starters back from last year and are familiar playing as a group?
Lenczyk: A lot of that is true. It shows that the hard work that we put into the spring season has carried into the fall. But we also have eight newcomers on the team, who have done a great job of quickly getting settled and adapting really well.
Question: Individually, you had a strong start to the season with a pair of multi-goal games. What was the key to your success?
Lenczyk: A lot of it is because of my teammates. When the team is playing well, then I am going to get service and get good scoring chances. I thought we were moving the ball well and when we do that, we are all going to get our chances to score.
Question: You got two awards this week, being named ACC Player of the Week and TopDrawerSoccer.com National Player of the Week. What do those awards mean to you?
Lenczyk: It is always exciting to be honored like that. But to get those awards, the team has to be winning, so that is the most important thing.
Question: You play two traditional powers this weekend in Penn State and Connecticut. What are you expecting from those games?
Lenczyk: It will be two really hard games. Both Penn State and UConn are great programs. We had two tough games with Penn State last year and I’m expecting another one on Friday. And UConn always has a strong team. I am looking forward to seeing how we match up with both teams at this point of the season.
Question: This is the third trip you have made to Penn State in the last 13 months, losing there in last season’s opener and winning in last year’s NCAA Tournament. What do you remember from those games?
Lenczyk: Both games with Penn State were tough games with both teams playing well. They are a great team. We played well in the first game and just couldn’t take advantage of our chances. The second time, I have never played in a game like that where you score six goals in 20 minutes. Hopefully this game will be more like the second one.