Q&A with Michael Giallombardo

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Question: After two years on the team, you have assumed the role of starting goalkeeper. How have your prior years helped you prepare?
Giallombardo: The coaching staff really helped me those two years and instilled confidence in me. All the other goalies here helped too. We share a very close bond and try to help each other out. The starting role became something that I was ready to step into.

Question: What was it like learning from Ryan Burke the past two seasons?
Giallombardo: It was good. He was a great goalie, and was always really helpful.

Question: How has the defense changed from the few games you started last year to now?
Giallombardo: It’s been different. We have a lot of different guys out there; Bakary Soumare is no longer here, and he was a big force up the middle. But now we’re just as good; maybe even better. We have a lot of players who have filled in well. We play a lot differently and have transitioned well.

Question: What is going to be the defense’s biggest challenge as your schedule gets tougher?

Giallombardo: We gave up some goals on restarts earlier in the year and the whole team, including myself, just needs to get a little bit better on getting everyone marked up.
 
Question: What is the most difficult part of being a goalie?

Giallombardo: If a forward takes 10 shots and scores one, then he’s the hero. A goalie can save two shots, then let one in, and he’s the goat.

Question: You just faced your first ACC opponent last Saturday against N.C. State. What are you and the team going to have to do to stay competitive in a very difficult conference?
Giallombardo: We really don’t need to change things. We have a very good defense. We have experienced guys back there: Matt [Poole], Zola [Short], [Matt] Williams, and great guys coming off the bench in T.J. [Cyrus], Colin [Givens], and Karter [Smith]. There’s a lot of depth on this team, which is one of its strong suits. We just need to keep playing like we’re playing and just not give up any goals.

Question: What do you think this team is capable of achieving?
Giallombardo: I think there are no bounds or limits. With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, we can get to the College Cup. That’s our goal. If we can do that, then anything can happen from there.

Question: What are you most looking forward to this season?
Giallombardo: I’m just excited to be a participant in Virginia’s rich history of goalkeepers. I’m happy to be here, happy to be playing for Coach Gelnovatch. He’s always been fair, and he’s given me an amazing chance with this program.