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Junior midfielder Anne Thomas (Baltimore, Md.) recently checked in with to preview the team’s 2012 season-opener. Thomas and the Cavaliers host Loyola on Saturday (Feb. 18) at 2:30 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium.

Question: How were the scrimmages in Philadelphia this past weekend?
: We had three scrimmages against Boston University, Denver and Penn. Overall I think we played really strongly. We have a lot of depth this year on our team, so our coaches focused on throwing in different combinations of people. It ended up working really well. By subbing a lot, everyone got a lot of rest. It seemed as though everyone seemed to get the flow of it, even with the continuous subbing and flow of different combinations of people. By our third scrimmage, we were pretty exhausted and unfortunately fell to Penn. But other than that it was certainly a strong competition day, and got us prepared for this weekend.

Question: How excited are you and your teammates for the start of the 2012 season?
: Right now we are focusing on strictly Loyola and UVa. It’s exciting to narrow our focus to one team. We’ve worked hard for about a month, and we are all excited to get to this point. Since my first year it was snowing, we had to open the season on the field hockey turf. So playing at Klöckner on an opening game; I’ve never done that. It’s exciting to have finally gotten here.

Question: How do you feel coming into the game, knowing that Loyola has won the past two years?
: We definitely think about it. It’s in the back of our minds that we haven’t won an opening game the past two years. Knowing that is one of the reasons that we are so determined to win this game.

Question: What went into your decision to attend and play lacrosse at UVa?
: My dad always tells this story. Ever since I was very young, I had wanted to go to Princeton because my uncle and my grandfather had both played sports there. But UVa was both the first and the last school that I visited. My dad always jokes, because the second I walked on to Grounds I said that I was going to go here. Then my junior year I did a bunch of the different recruiting trips, but did a camp here as a final decision-maker. Right after camp, I committed. It was kind of a love at first sight. I loved the campus, loved the coaches; it was such a strong gut feeling that I decided I had to come here.

Question: What are your career aspirations?
: I am a history major and a media studies minor. I want to get into media studies, communications, public relations or something similar. I don’t know if it’s necessarily marketing, publications or even with sports, music or movies. Hopefully my internship with the UVa media relations department will help me understand where I want to head. This summer I’m looking into internships with communications, or public relations in Boston, New York and San Francisco.

Question: Why those three locations?
: My family is from New England and my mom is from Maine, so it would be nice to be in Boston and get to see my family on the weekends. My older sister works and lives in San Francisco, and it would be interesting to see more of the west coast. New York is New York. Not to mention a lot of my college friends would be there, so it would be a lot of fun.

Question: Were your two older sisters athletic?
s: No, neither of them played sports seriously. My oldest sister was going to play lacrosse at Bates in Maine, but she decided not to. My middle sister rowed crew, played ice hockey and field hockey, but she quit. Neither of them wanted to play sports in college. The both have their own thing going on. But both my parents played, which was a strong factor in my involvement.

Question: Where did your parents play?
: My mom played field hockey, basketball and lacrosse at Trinity College. It was cool, because they could do all of them. But you can’t really do that anymore. My dad played lacrosse at Boston College, but now they don’t have a men’s team.

Question: How would you describe Coach Myers and the rest of the coaching staff?
: They are a very dynamic trio. It is hard to come upon, because they are very different in many different ways. Coach Myers is an incredible coach. She is one of the only people, I think, to win a national championship as a player, an assistant coach and a head coach. I think it is so unbelievable, and such an accomplishment.

Question: What are your team’s biggest strengths this year, and some areas that still need improvement?
: Our biggest strength right now is our attack. Julie [Gardner], Josie [Owen], Ainsley Baker, and Charlie Finnigan, they have so much field experience. But at the same time, we have so many great attackers that can sub in. They could easily step up and fill a role if they’re needed. Losing Liz Downs and Marghi Walters on defense was definitely a setback. But Megan Dunleavy, who has had the most field experience on the defense, is a strong leader. She has really shown the underclassmen how to perform on defense. Our midfield is young, I still consider myself a young player, but at the same time we have had some field experience.

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