Junior defender Mike Volk (Bear, Del.) recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the 2009 men’s soccer season. Volk scored the game-winning goal to lift Virginia to a 1-0 victory at then-No. 2 Wake Forest on Sept. 18. The Cavaliers followed that road win up with a 2-1 victory over George Washington on Tuesday night, giving head coach George Gelnovatch his 200th-career victory. UVa hosts Clemson in a Saturday night ACC match at 7 p.m.
Question: Talk about how it felt to score the game-winning goal at Wake Forest, the first of your collegiate career.
Volk: I would have to say it was nothing less than the best feeling I’ve ever had. Everything was perfect, we had been practicing scoring off of set pieces and Coach Gelnovatch said we would score off of a set piece. I just happened to be that guy so I felt really fortunate.
Question: After transferring from Rutgers prior to the 2008 season, you have now started every game this year and are anchoring a defense that has allowed the fewest goals of any team in the ACC. Talk about your transition to UVa.
Volk: Sitting out the year prior to this one was really beneficial. I could observe what was going on and observe the style of play and just train hard. I also trained hard all summer to compete for playing time and I’ve been fortunate to be on the field this year. I’ve worked my way into the starting line-up and I’m hoping to keep working hard.
Question: On Tuesday night the team earned a 2-1 win over George Washington, giving head coach George Gelnovatch his 200th-career win. What does it mean to you to be a part of the team that earned that achievement?
Volk: Yeah it’s amazing. We earned a hard-fought victory in overtime and it’s a special feeling to give Coach his 200th win. He’s definitely one of, if not the best coach, I’ve ever played for so that was really exciting.
Question: What will the rest of the week be like preparing for Clemson?
Volk: Well Clemson’s record (0-5-1) might give the impression that they are in a little bit of a slump, but we honestly treat every ACC match as if it was the national championship game. So we will train hard and work hard to be ready on Saturday night.
Question: The crowds this year at Klöckner have been big, and Saturday should be no exception. How much of an advantage is it to play with such home crowd support?
Volk: I have never played on a field like Klöckner or in front of such great fans that are at Klöckner. It’s a great atmosphere and I really hope all our fans know how much we appreciate it and look forward to them cheering us on.
Question: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
Volk: No, not really. I’m just a regular guy on a team that’s trying to win.
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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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