CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia women’s soccer team will kick off their season on Saturday night, as the 'Hoos host the Hokies at Klöckner Stadium.
The match will be the first NCAA competition on Grounds since the UVA baseball team hosted UMass Lowell on March 11th.
“The team deserves a ton of credit for getting this far," says head coach Steve Swanson. "We’re excited, and hopefully we can bring some measure of normalcy this fall to what is an unusual year.”
Senior forward Alissa Gorzak says, “We definitely have been ready to play, and we’ve been excited that we’re going to have another chance to go for an ACC title.”
UVA will be looking to win the ACC title for the first time since 2012.
The Wahoos were fourth in the nation in scoring offense last season, and eighth in goals-against average (.478).
This year, they’ll also need to play strong defense off the field.
Swanson says, “You got this bubble, and you got to keep that bubble as tight as possible, with the idea that you’ll probably, to no fault of anybody, you might lose somebody to a quarantine here or there, but you just have to make sure you’re minimizing the losses with that, as best you can.”
Senior midfielder Anna Sumpter adds, “For all of us being out of play for so long, we’re so desperate to get some soccer in, that we’re willing to do pretty much anything we need to do. It’s been awesome to see everyone come together, and make some pretty drastic changes, that we’re not used to making.”
If all goes to plan, Virginia will play eleven regular season games, and they will all be against teams from the ACC.
There will be a conference tournament, and perhaps, and NCAA Tournament in the spring.
Head coach Steve Swanson says they’re just looking to stay afloat, during an unprecedented season.
“You’re putting your boat in the water, making sure there are no holes in it, and if there are, you got to plug them quick," says Swanson. "I think we’ve been doing, for the most part, with the help of our tremendous support staff here, just an unbelievable job that those people have done to get us to where we are. We’re gonna play on Saturday.”
That game is scheduled to start at six o’clock on Saturday.
No fans will be allowed inside Klöckner, just family of the players and coaches.