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Q&A with Matt Poole

Question: Defensively, the team is off to a great startfour shutouts in the first six games. What is the team doing to post these numbers, despite the fact that you lost an experienced goalkeeper in Ryan Burke?

Poole: We just practice everyday. We haven’t really thought about shutting out opponents too much, we just work really hard and try to do our best. Luckily for us, it’s been paying off and working really well.

Question: What have you been doing to help Michael Giallombardo ease into the starting goalkeeper role?

Poole: He’s actually had a lot of experience already. In the spring, he played every game. He’s also been here for a whilethis is his third year. He knows what he’s doing and he’s a great goalie. Although he hasn’t played in that many regular season games, we have plenty of confidence in him.

Question: After last season, the backline lost Bakary Soumare to professional soccer. How has the defense changed to compensate for that loss?

Poole: Losing him was rough. He’s a great defender: tall, strong, good in the air. But both T.J. [Cyrus] and Zola [Short] have played well in the middle, so we’ve been fine.

Question: The defense has made some changes after the loss to SMU. What are you doing differently?

Poole: It’s funny because three of those goals (in a 5-1 loss) weren’t necessarily “bad defending”, but rather set pieces and bad defending on those. By the time we reached the end of the game, when the other two were scored, we were caught trying to push forward to get back into the game. We’ve definitely learned from our mistakes, and doing a lot to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Question: Are you ready for ACC play to start this weekend?

Poole: Yes! I’m really excited. NC State will be funtheir field is nice. It’s going to be a good game.

Question: Where do you see the team going this season?

Poole: Hopefully, we’ll win the ACC, make it back to the College Cup and this time win the national title.

Question: What are your personal goals for the season?

Poole: I never approach playing that way. I just hope the team does well, so I never really set specific personal goals.

Question: Are there any games in particular that you are looking forward to?

Poole: The UNC game has potential to be a lot of funhopefully we can break the crowd record and get 8,000 people up at Klckner. The Clemson game [where 7,428 were in attendance] was a lot of fun, and I see North Carolina being just as exciting if a lot of people come.




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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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