Virginia junior goalkeeper Kim Kolarik (Riva, Md.) recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the Cavaliers' season.
Question: Can you talk about the team's preparation for Boston College in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship?
Kolarik: We played them pretty recently, March 31, so we feel like we know their personnel. We've watched a lot of film, and we know that Brooke Blue had a hat trick against us, so we don't want that to happen again.
Question: How do you feel about your draw in the championship? If you advance to the semifinals you would face No. 1 seed North Carolina.
Kolarik: I think it's a good path. We are not looking past Boston College at all, but if we advance then we always want to play North Carolina. They're a good team. I'm a third year and I haven't beaten them yet.
Question: You missed the Virginia Tech game with an injury, but made the next start at Johns Hopkins. Are you back to full strength?
Kolarik: I'm at full strength. I'm doing sprints, the running, the agilities, I'm in everything 100 percent. You never want to sit out a game, but I was ready to go at Hopkins.
Question: How did you begin your career as a lacrosse goalie?
Kolarik: In fourth and fifth grade, I played defense. In sixth grade, everyone has to rotate and play some goalie. I played one day and did well and my coach was also my neighbor so she talked to my parents. I loved it and they started me out in an interesting fashion of using tennis balls so I wouldn't be afraid of the ball. And then I transitioned to filling tennis balls with water so they're harder and then I transitioned to real balls. Since then, I haven't been afraid to get bruises.
Question: What do you think is the hardest part about your position?
Kolarik: I would say the mental aspect and the muscle memory. You just need to go through each and every shot until you get it right. Certain shots are different than others and second-guessing yourself is definitely the worst part. Mentally you just have to stay in it. If the ball goes in the cage, then that has nothing to do with the next ball that is coming at you. That's something that you have to overcome as a goalie.
Question: You've been named ACC Defensive Player of the Week three times this season. What do those honors mean to you?
Kolarik: I attribute it to my team, I would not be getting the saves I do unless my defense was there forcing girls wide and making them take tough shots. The defense has given me those accolades.
Question: How would you describe the defense as a unit?
Kolarik: We're tight knit. We're very young, without a fourth year starting on defense. Two first years start. Everyone is coming together, you can see from the first game to our last game at Hopkins how we are transitioning the ball better, communicating better, getting through picks and stacks.
Question: Did you have a role model growing up?
Kolarik: Through lacrosse and being here at Virginia, Kendall McBrearty (former UVa goalkeeper and current volunteer assistant coach) was playing here and she was amazing. Having her here to work with me has been outstanding. She knows so much and she's on the US team. She contributes so much to making me better.
Question: Your first-year roommate was the goalkeeper for the Virginia field hockey team. Was that a coincidence?
Kolarik: Yes, Amanda Crider. We were both the odd ones out on our teams and our coaches talked to each other and were like ‘let's put the goalies together.' Amanda is my best friend here at UVa. If we hadn't been roommates, I don't know what I would have done. Everyone says goalies are a little nuts anyways, but her personality is so awesome.