Q & A With Sean Hiller
Sophomore defender Sean Hiller (Howell, N.J.) recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the team’s 2-0 victory over American on Tuesday night and its upcoming ACC match at Clemson. The Cavaliers face the Tigers on the road Saturday night. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Question: What adjustments did the team make at halftime against American to come out on top with a 2-0 victory after being tied 0-0 at the half?
Hiller: The first half we played kind of slowly; we weren’t switching the ball well. At halftime Coach [Gelnovatch] challenged us to come out in the second half and play with a little more intensity because we have been down tonight and against Wake Forest. We haven’t been playing as good as we are so we came out in the second half just a little more intense and moved the ball a little faster so we got goals.
Question: Talk about the importance of the upcoming ACC contest at Clemson.
Hiller: The game against Clemson is incredibly huge. It’s away so it’s going to be a tough one. We tied Duke and then we lost to Wake Forest. We have one point [in the ACC standings] right now, so the game against Clemson is huge. We need to get a win there so we’ll be in good standing in the ACC.
Question: You didn’t play in the 2009 NCAA Championship game, but were called on for penalty kicks and scored. How did that feel?
Hiller: The funny thing was I actually told my parents I was going to be taking PKs – we were practicing like a month before [the Championship game] and we kind of knew who was going to be taking penalty kicks. So we were playing against Wake Forest in the semifinal I was set to be in the PKs but we won in overtime. Then in the championship it was getting close to PKs so I was doing field goal kicker exercises on the sideline getting ready. My mom was there and she was incredibly nervous. Thank God I made it!
Question: As an out-of-state student, what made you come to Virginia?
Hiller: The reason I came here is because I came to the camp they have here. I guess I did pretty well so Coach [Gelnovatch] was like, ‘We want you to come here.’ I loved it and I never wanted to go anywhere else.
Question: What’s your major and what’s your favorite class?
Hiller: I’m a history major and I’m in German history right now.
Question: What’s your favorite quote from Coach Gelnovatch?
Hiller: “We gotta grind.” That was his thing last year through the entire thing – grinding.
Question: Who is your favorite athlete at UVa?
Hiller: I’m going to have to go with Rob Randolph, the kicker on the football team. I live with him so I kind of have to say him.
Question: What’s your first soccer memory?
Hiller: Probably playing recreation soccer when my mom was the coach. I was really, really young.
Question: Do you have a pregame ritual or superstition?
Hiller: I actually always wear two pairs of socks which really isn’t a superstition or anything, but I always wear the same pair of socks under my soccer socks. If I don’t have those socks on, it’s probably going to be a long night.
Question: Do you model your game after a professional soccer player?
Hiller: Not really. I always joke around with the guys and they always say John O’Shea just because he’s Irish so that’s what I usually get.