The sixth-ranked Virginia women’s soccer team plays a pair of top-five conference foes this week when it visits No. 5 Maryland on Thursday and hosts No. 1 Boston College on Sunday. Virginiasports.com talked to first-year forward Gloria Douglas to discuss her transition to playing at the college level and to preview this week’s games.
Question: What has been the biggest adjustment for you going from playing high school and club soccer to playing at the collegiate level?
Douglas: The biggest thing is the difference of the pace of play. It’s so fast at this level. There are some other things too, such as the amount of time we spend watching video and the preparation in setting up for throw-ins, corner kicks, and free kicks. There is a lot more that goes into getting ready for games than there is in high school or club.
Question: How much have the veterans been able to ease the transition for you and the other first-years?
Douglas: They have definitely helped me out a lot with everything since I have gotten here. Even if they’re not teaching you something, just watching them play teaches you a lot. They set a great example of what it takes to succeed at this level. They don’t have to sit you down and tell you everything, but them being there has helped me out a lot.
Question: Last week you played your first ACC game at Virginia Tech. Was it what you expected from your first conference game?
Douglas: It’s pretty crazy to finally play in the ACC. We played so many good teams in the non-conference schedule that I felt comfortable out there. The most important thing was we started off ACC play really well with a 3-0 win against Virginia Tech and hopefully we can keep up that pace. I’m excited for the next one against Maryland.
Question: How much confidence does it give you to go out and score a goal in your first ACC game?
Douglas: It’s pretty cool to score in your first ACC game as a first-year. It isn’t something I try to focus on. I like to go into each game not expecting to do anything in particular, play my heart out and see what happens.
Question: You play a pair of top-five team this week. What are the keys for you to get good results against Maryland and Boston College?
Douglas: I think the key is to start off strong. We haven’t started games as well as we would like recently. I know as long as we stay together as a team and play our game we should be fine.