The No. 5 Virginia women’s soccer team travels to Cary, N.C. this week for the 2010 ACC Tournament. The third-seeded Cavaliers meet sixth-seeded Boston College in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Virginiasports.com talked to senior midfielder Sinead Farrelly, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, to discuss the tournament.
Question: You were named ACC Offensive Player of the Year, in addition to being a first team All-ACC selection for the fourth consecutive year. What does that recognition mean to you?
Farrelly: It means a lot. It is nice to think that the people who voted thought that I deserved that award and things like that certainly give me some confidence out on the field. But as nice as that recognition is, it won’t help our team win games in the postseason. It is more important for me to help our team win than be given individual honors.
Question: This year you have scored a career-high 10 goals. Has shooting more and looking to get more involved offensively something you have focused on this season?
Farrelly: I have always tried to do things to help our team win. When I first got here, Steve [Swanson] would tell me I needed to shoot more and look to attack more, when I just wanted to pass it off and set up others. But as I have developed as a player, and also as a leader, I realize there are times when I need to take things into my own hands and try get in a position to score when we need a goal.
Question: You enter the ACC Tournament on a six-game unbeaten streak. How important is it to have a lot of momentum heading into the postseason?
Farrelly: It is really important. We have a lot of confidence in our play right now, from how we have played in the wins and in our losses. To put together a streak like we have in this conference gives us the knowledge that we can succeed in the ACC and can do well this week in the tournament.
Question: During your first three years, every ACC Tournament game you have played has gone to overtime and four of them have gone to penalty kicks. When the margin for error is so small, what do you need to do to be successful this week?
Farrelly: A lot of it is your mentality. In the ACC, every team is so good and every game ends up being so close. You have to come out strong every game because you know that you are going to have to work hard for 90 or 110 minutes and maybe penalty kicks to get the job done. If you lose focus for even a minute, it could be the difference between winning and losing.
Question: You play Boston College on Wednesday, a team that you have gone to overtime with in the last three games you have played against them. What will be the keys to this game?
Farrelly: We know it is going to be a close game, just like every other time we have played them. We feel like we are playing well and after we beat them in the regular season, we have confidence heading into this game. If we are focused and play our game, we should be fine.