The Virginia women’s soccer team concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule Sunday when it visits West Virginia. The Cavaliers (6-0-1) are looking to go through non-conference play undefeated for the first time since 2004. Virginiasports.com talked to senior midfielder Sinead Farrelly, the current ACC Player of the week, to discuss the early season success of the team and preview the upcoming game with the Mountaineers.
Question: Last weekend, you defeated Texas and Boston University to win the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic. How important is it to defend the home field and win your own tournament?
Farrelly: Whether it is our tournament or not, we always have a goal not to lose at home. It is something we take pride in. Especially this past week, against teams we have never played before, we needed to show that Klöckner is our field and we aren’t going to let anyone come in and beat us. Also, these are important non-conference games that we need to win, and we got the job done.
Question: Both games were wins, but all the goals were scored in the second half. Is that something that you are doing right in the second half or is it something that needs improvement in the first half?
Farrelly: We want to come out right from the opening whistle and play like we can. We were playing well in the first half, but just weren’t finishing our chances. We need to look at getting that done earlier and make it easier for ourselves. It taught us a lot about what we have to do in upcoming games.
Question: A key to that second half success has been the depth on the team. How do you think the depth is on this team compared to years past?
Farrelly: The depth is a huge factor why we have been doing so well. We always talk about seamlessness, that when we sub, there’s not a difference in our level of play. Knowing that we get the same energy level and the same talent level whenever we bring in players off the bench is big for us.
Question: There is one more non-conference game left, but so far you are undefeated on the season. How important is it to have all a lot momentum going as you approach the ACC season?
Farrelly: It’s huge; I don’t think we have ever been undefeated heading into the ACC season since I have been here. We have played a really good out of conference schedule. It is a huge confidence booster for us. When we play with confidence, we are so much better.
Question: So far you have been having very good results on both ends of the field, outscoring opponents 27-1. What’s been the key to the strength at both ends of the field?
Farrelly: It’s good because our defense can count on us to score and we can count on them to not let anything in. It gives everyone confidence to perform their role on the field when you know that both ends of the field are having success.
Question: You travel to West Virginia this weekend, which is always a rivalry game. What do you anticipate in this match up?
Farrelly: It’s going to be a huge game. Rivalries like this are always good for us because we know the level of play is going to be high. For us, it’s also our last chance to get ready for ACC play. The last time we went there, we didn’t play well (a 3-0 loss in 2008), so we are ready to for another chance. I’m excited; I think it will be a good game.