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Freshman forward Brian Span (Somers, N.Y.) recently checked in with to preview the team’s match vs. Virginia Tech on Friday (Oct. 15) and answer questions about himself and the season so far. Kick-off vs. the Hokies is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium.

Question: Tuesday night’s match vs. James Madison was a hard-fought, double-overtime draw. Talk about the match and the result.
Span: James Madison came out hard the entire game, so we give them credit for that. The whole time they were battling and coming at us. To our credit, we battled back with them. We didn’t necessarily play up to our potential, but we played hard and got out with a tie. It was a tough game.

Question: As an attacking player who has scored four goals so far this year, how frustrating is it to play in a scoreless draw and not find the back of the net?
Span: It’s really frustrating. We all want to score goals, but we know it takes work. In games like the JMU game where you don’t really get a clear chance on goal, or you only get one or two shots on goal, it’s frustrating. So you have to keep working and finish your chances when they come up again.

Question: As a first-year, do you have a sense of the UVa-Virginia Tech rivalry? Does Friday night’s match vs. the Hokies mean more to you than another match against another opponent would?
Span: I’m going to play my best every single game. I know they are our rivals, but I’m just trying to help the team win. A game is a game to me.

Question: What went into your decision to attend Virginia?
Span: The environment, the coaches. Everything here is a professional environment. The facilities are amazing, and I really liked how the coaches liked me as a player and that the coaches accepted me. All of those things made me want to come here.

Question: You’re from New York. Do you have a favorite New York area sports team?
Span: I like the Knicks, but they’re not always that good. I’ll say the New York Red Bulls, I’ve always liked them.

Question: Is there anything you miss from home that you can’t get in Charlottesville?
Span: Honestly, my mom’s cooking would be the thing I miss the most. I miss my parents, they are planning on coming down at some point. They are also planning on coming to the Boston College game since it is a little closer.

Question: Is there a particular player, either professional or on the international soccer scene, that you have modeled your game after?
Span: Cobi Jones, that’s how I got my nickname. My first coach said that I used to play like him and all my teammates started calling me Cobi. He played for the LA Galaxy and the USA team and he was one of my favorite players growing up. Overseas, my favorite player is Thierry Henry. He played for Arsenal and France.

Question: Can you describe the feeling of playing and scoring goals in a facility like Klöckner Stadium?
Span: It’s better than I expected. In the big games such as against Wake Forest and UNC, when you have thousands of people out there cheering for you, it’s unbelievable. Playing in a stadium like that gives you an extra energy boost.

Question: You have four goals and three assists in 11 starts. Did you expect to make such an impact as a freshman?
Span: I knew if I came here and worked hard that I would earn a role on the team.

Question: How does the leadership of the upperclassmen on this team benefit you?
Span: Greg (Monaco), Mike (Volk) and Diego (Restrepo), I look up to them. If I have any questions on the field I always go to them. They are the types of guys that are very serious on the field but very cool off the field.

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