Hunter Jumper, a first-year from Plano, Texas, recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to answer questions about the14th-ranked men’s soccer team. The defender leads the team with four assists and the Cavaliers will look for their seventh-straight victory Friday at Boston College. Kick-off is 7 p.m.
Question: As a first-year, you have started all but one of the team’s 11 games. Did you expect that coming into your rookie season of collegiate soccer?
Jumper: I wouldn’t say I was expecting it, no. I was hoping for it though. We used words like honor and pride, and starting every game is truly an honor for me. I know it’s a game-by-game basis but hopefully I will continue to contribute to the team.
Question: You are a left-footed player that plays on the left side. Do you think that gives you an advantage?
Jumper: I think there are many more right-footed players than left, so if that gives me a slight advantage, I’ll take it.
Question: How would you describe your first semester at college?
Jumper: Overall, it has been fun. Being on the soccer team is great and I’m enjoying my academics. Managing school and soccer, thankfully, has been successful so far.
Question: Being from Plano, Texas, what do you miss most from home?
Jumper: Well, they do have Taco Bell in Virginia, thankfully [laughs]. But Mexican food is something I miss! Also my family, my girlfriend and my friends.
Question: The team is off to a 4-0 start in ACC play. What can you attribute that to?
Jumper: Everything is starting to come together for us. We have great chemistry off the field which just adds to our potential. We’ve won six-straight games so things definitely seem to be going our way.
Question: Being a defender, how has the performance of goalkeeper Michael Giallombardo helped the defense post five shutouts this year?
Jumper: He’s unbelievable. He always has our backs and keeps us composed in the back. I think a great goalkeeper makes all the saves he should and one save he shouldn’t during a game and Mike has done that for us on multiple occasions.
Question: What kind of advantage does Klckner Stadium give your team?
Jumper: I honestly did not know much about Klckner Stadium before I got here, so it has been an amazing experience to play in such a great stadium. You’ve got your teammates but you’ve also got the fans who you know have your back during a game. So yeah I’d say it’s a big advantage.
Question: You scored your first collegiate goal vs. NC State (Sept. 19), a highlight-worthy shot to the upper corner of the net. How did that feel?
Jumper: That was just an amazing moment for me. To get that goal the way I did, a clean shot, it just made it all the better. And against an ACC opponent, it was great.
Question: You lead the team in assists with four. Is that typical for the way you play soccer?
Jumper: I used to play forward so I’m used to having an offensive mindset, which I think helps. I also think it’s just a matter of the ball bouncing my way, which I hope it continues to do.
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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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