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Sept. 25, 2013

Virginia sophomore forward Darius Madison is a constant scoring threat for the UVa men’s soccer team. The 2012 ACC All-Freshman Team honoree routinely is one of the fastest players on the field, and his speed creates a matchup nightmare for opponents. In six games this year, he already has matched his goal total from a year ago with two. He recently sat down after training to talk about his season and UVa career to date.

What did you learn as a freshman that you might not have expected when you entered the program?
The level of play was different. The adjustment to life as a college student-athlete – just trying to balance school and soccer with the level of play.

What was the biggest challenge during that time?
Personally, just fitting into the system here, and trying to play my game in the way our coaches wanted.

Now that you’re ingrained in the system here, what do you feel your role is on the team?
Score goals. Not to sound cocky, but I’m here to produce and help the team win.

You scored your first two goals of the season in the last two games. That has to be a weight off your shoulders.
It felt good to finally do what I was brought here to do, which is to score goals. I wouldn’t have been able to do it though without my midfielders and getting some excellent balls from them. I feel really confident and I’m hoping to keep it up in the next game.

What are your expectations for yourself?
I want to reach double figures in goals and help my team win an ACC Championship first and then an NCAA Championship.

You’ve played a brutally tough schedule so far. How do you think that can help the team as the season progresses?
Our first few games were some of the toughest on our entire schedule. Once we really start gelling, I don’t think there’s a team on our schedule that we don’t have the potential to beat. In those games that we lost, we did things to ourselves. It wasn’t necessarily that the other team outplayed us – we shot ourselves in the foot.

Where do you feel you still need to improve?
My vision on the field. I need to see where other players are on the field so I can give them the ball and we can score.

What’s the biggest difference for you as a player, sophomore year versus your sophomore year?
Maturity and experience, knowing what I have to do. Last year I wanted to please the coach and I wanted to learn how he wanted me to play, but now that I know what to do and I can go and play my game. The speed of play isn’t as fast either and the game has slowed down for me.

Have you started thinking about which major you will pick at UVa?
I’m thinking about foreign affairs or media studies or possibly majoring in media studies and minoring in foreign affairs.

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