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Caroline McTiernan scored four goals for the women’s lacrosse team in its three games last week. The sophomore from Garden City, N.Y., stepped into the starting lineup last year after injuries plagued the attack and has worked to contribute five goals and an assist this year.

This week, McTiernan and the Cavaliers will host their final ACC opponent of the season, in-state rival Virginia Tech, at Klöckner Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Question: With the addition of 12 new people to this year’s roster and some players coming back from injuries, how has the competition within the team been this season?
McTiernan: Last year our team was smaller and we were very close. With the addition of 12 new players this year, it took us a little longer to get to know each other. I feel that no matter what, we support each other on and off the field and spend a lot of time together socially as well. I was lucky to have gotten a lot of playing time last year because Ainsley (Baker) went out with her ACL injury. It was a very difficult time for her because she had not completed a full season of play to date, but she was so supportive and gave me a lot of guidance. I commend each and every one of the three players who went out with their ACLs and I am so impressed by their total comeback. They have worked so hard to get where they are today and are doing an unbelievable job.

Question: What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from this year?
McTiernan: That having a bad game isn’t the worst thing in the world. It allows us to go back to the basics. It forces us to focus on the little things that make us a successful team, which are hard work, determination and teamwork.

Question: How long have you been playing lacrosse?
McTiernan: I started playing lacrosse when I was in third grade. I played on the Garden City club teams and then on the middle school and high school teams. I also played summer lacrosse for Liberty.

Question: How did you start playing?
McTiernan: I had absolutely no interest in playing lacrosse when I was young. All my friends were playing so my dad made me attend the varsity clinic. Once I got the hang of it, I started to really enjoy playing.

Question: Why did you decide to come to UVa?
McTiernan: Once I received the call from Julie Myers, I visited Grounds with my parents. While I was here, I realized it was the perfect spot for me academically, athletically and socially.

Question: What is it like to play in the ACC, because the conference is so strong?
McTiernan: I think the ACC is the most difficult and competitive of all the conferences. Playing against the best makes us work harder, be better players and always stay competitive. It would be amazing to make it to the Final Four this year because it is out on Long Island, about half an hour from where I live.

Question: What is something people might be surprised to know about the Virginia women’s lacrosse team?
McTiernan: We are always dancing in the locker room, before and after practices and games.

Question: You don’t have a game this weekend. What are you going to do with your free time?
McTiernan: This weekend our team is participating in the Half Marathon and the One Love Tennis Tournament. We are running on the team called Every Yard for Yeardley. I think this is a great opportunity to reach out and be a part of the One Love Foundation and show our continuous love for our teammate who is greatly missed by all.

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