The 2018-19 Virginia Tech women’s soccer academic year is closing and preparations for the 2019 season are underway. The team just recently completed its spring season and is getting ready for finals week. Monday night, they attended The Gobblers and took home the award for best upset – the Hokies 1-0 victory over then-No. 6 Virginia on Sept. 27.
They also got together for one final team event and handed out a number of team awards, which included Most Valuable Player: Mandy McGlynn; Defensive Player of the Year: Kelsey Irwin; Offensive Player of the Year: Karlie Johnson; Midfielder of the Year: Jordan Hemmen; Newcomer of the Year: Emily Gray; and Best Teammate: Heather Timothy.
Head Coach Chugger Adair recently sat down for a Q&A to talk about the spring, the team’s upcoming Costa Rica trip and the 2019 season.
Q: What are your thoughts on how the spring season had gone?
CA: “It was a good spring. We tested ourselves in a number of ways with different games and in different training environments. We were just trying to grow from the top of the roster down to the bottom roster. Looking at the games, we played Wake Forest, which was a good test for us. Wake Forest is a very good technical, possession team. They really made us work on trying to keep the ball in play. All of our spring matches were challenging. We tried different lineups and different scenarios and systems with our group. Through those games – we scheduled different competition, non-conference teams, the Washington Spirit – and against those teams we were able to test ourselves, organize our defending and create some opportunities with good athletic opponents. Overall, it was pretty good and I’m happy with the final spring match and getting a good result at Liberty. We didn’t play solid in the time we were there, but we did some really good things on the day. I’m happy with the overall spring and I think our team is growing and gotten better. With this Costa Rica trip coming and then in summer, kids still have to put in their time and train and continue to hold the standard to prepare for the fall.”
Q: What is the schedule like heading into that trip?
CA: “As far as their training routine, we are doing eight hours for the next few weeks leading up until the finals break. We will get one session in after graduation just before we head to Costa Rica. Depending on their final schedules, some of them will go home and get a chance to see their families, re-group a little bit and then catch back up with us before we head out on the Costa Rica trip.”
Q: What will the Costa Rica trip entail?
CA: “We will leave May 21 and play our first game on the night of May 22 against the Costa Rica National Team. That will be a good opportunity for us to get ready and settle in. We finish with a game the night before we come back on May 29, against one of their top women’s teams in the country. We will be playing against a little bit older, more experience, more technical players that will test us. It’s a good opportunity for us to get away, focus on some soccer, focus on our team culture and our relationships within the group and it will give us a little time away from the overall grind of soccer.”
Q: Where will your incoming class fit into this group?
CA: “This incoming class is going to be a good class and will seamlessly fit into our group. We’ve got a number of good players with attacking personalities coming in. There’s also some positional players who can step in right away. We’ve got a good balance within the class. They will fit right in and they are pretty athletic as a group. I think they are going to help fill in some pieces that we might have been missing this spring. The spring has been good but a little bit disjointed. We’ve had some kids in and out with different national teams and we’ve had some kids in and out with injuries. Getting those players back will be good for us. I’ve been happy with the group and pleased with the overall performance.”
Q: Looking ahead to 2019, any early thoughts?
CA: “For us, looking to the fall, I’m really excited for the group coming in and the team that is returning. I’m really excited for the season. We grew this past fall and our expectation for our group and our team will be to continue to compete and grow. They now understand what it means to compete at the Division I level, the ACC level and what it takes to make the NCAA Tournament. For us, to try and put another season together like that will be exciting. I’m looking forward to getting back into it in August.