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Men’s soccer sophomore Sean Murnane (Centreville, Va.) recently checked in with to discuss the team’s 3-0 record in the preseason and the regular season opener against UAB this weekend. Virginia and UAB play at 8 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 3) at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers then have a quick turnaround and host St. John’s on Sunday (Sept. 5) at 3 p.m.

Question: How does it feel to be done with the preseason exhibitions?
: Well we got three victories, which is a better start than last year’s preseason. Knowing that last year we finished with three exhibition losses and how quickly we were able to turn that around, we are not getting too high on ourselves right now. We know it’s the preseason and it’s a very long season. We have to keep training and keep working hard every day. We got a good taste of what it’s like to play on the road at George Mason, and that atmosphere is what we can expect during the regular season. We know teams will have a lot of motivation against us this year.

Question: For the first time in the preseason, Virginia had to rally from a goal down at George Mason. How did it feel to score two unanswered goals and get the 2-1 victory?
: Our coaches really challenged us at halftime of that game. Soccer is a tale of two halves and we really embrace that. So we came out in the second half and did what we needed to do.

Question: Being from Virginia, did you always want to attend UVa?
: Yes. I knew I wanted to go to UVa since I was a little kid. Once I heard they were interested in me, that was all it took. I was on board from day one. I was definitely a fan of the soccer team and always came to a few games every year. Pretty much picture me as one of the little kids in the stands with the Virginia soccer t-shirt on.

Question: What can you tell fans about the team’s preparation this week for the season-opening weekend?
: We know both teams are going to come out flying. It’s the season-opener and we won the NCAA Championship last year, so there’s a little bit of a target on our backs. We want to get prepared mentally and physically this week and make practice as intense as we can.

Question: What is your major and what class have you most enjoyed taking so far?
: I haven’t fully decided yet on a major, but I’m probably going to do sociology. My favorite class I’ve taken was History of Rock, that was fun.

Question: What is something you enjoy doing in your spare time?
: Just relaxing. We are always going so just hanging out and relaxing.

Question: What are your individual goals for this season?
: When I do get to be out on the field, do everything I can to help the team.

Question: What is the best thing about playing in Klöckner Stadium?
: Definitely the atmosphere. It’s always a good turnout, the fans are nice and close so you can hear them cheering you on. The Wahooligans do a great job.

Question: What would you say was the team’s biggest strength during this preseason? What about one thing the team is looking to work on?
: I think we had a couple of strengths this preseason. First of all our fitness. We came in and worked all summer with our strength coach and he had us really fit and ready for games and practices. Also our chemistry has been a strength so far. Something we need to work on – coming out on our toes from the start and knowing that every day of the week is going to be a tough game.

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