The seventh-ranked Virginia field hockey team, in the midst of a seven-game road swing, continues action with three non-conference games this week. The Cavaliers head to JMU for a 7 p.m. game Wednesday before traveling to Oxford, Ohio, for matchups with Miami (Ohio) and Michigan State this weekend. Smith, a native of Ottawa Hills, Ohio, recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to chat about the season thus far, playing in her home state and her future career aspirations.
Question: How would you describe the first two weeks of the season?
Smith: After evaluating the team and talking with everyone, it's obvious we have a lot to learn. We have a lot of inexperience and a lot of underclassmen. But that only goes to show the strengths that we do have are only going to improve and our weaknesses can only get better from here. That's exciting to see; as a team we have to pay attention to that and not just let the losses early on build up and break us down. Instead, we have to let those losses help build our foundation, which will lead to a great team.
Question: Are you looking forward to playing in your home state of Ohio?
Smith: Absolutely! My family is coming down and I am trying to convince my parents to bring my dogs but I don't think that will happen. I am really excited to see my friends and family who can make it to the games because we don't get to Ohio very often.
Question: How about playing two great teams in Miami (Ohio) and Michigan State?
Smith: My best friend from high school is actually on Michigan State's team so it's really fun we play them again. Her name is Katherine Jamieson and we played together all throughout high school. It's exciting to know we'll be playing against each other this weekend; it will be a battle.
Question: How have you improved from where you were as a player a year ago?
Smith: It's been a transition and I have to stay positive because I know there are moments when I get really down on myself. I want to be on the field with my teammates. I don't want to make any mistakes but I have to keep it in prospective that I still don't have a lot of experience. I look at it as I can only improve from my mistakes and become a better player. But it's been a huge transition.
Question: What made you want to come to UVa?
Smith: Everything! I love it here; I think I could be the No. 1 spokesperson for UVa because I don't have a bad thing to say about it. I love the athletics atmosphere, the academic atmosphere. I love the social environment and everyone is also excited to be in the classroom. Seeing all the student-athletes around Grounds - it's a cool little community we have.
Question: Have you thought about what your major might be?
Smith: I've been trying to figure it out this semester. I would like to create my own major in media production. But I don't know if I will find the resources to be able to do that. So I'm looking at all of my options.
Question: What are your future career aspirations?
Smith: I would like to be a television producer and work for the Discovery Channel or the History Channel. I want to help produce the shows for those networks. There is some cool stuff on there. I just really enjoy watching those channels.
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa to date?
Smith: I really liked my art history class. We learned about all different kinds of art from the different time periods. It was cool to see how art is shaped by the different social structures and not just by talent. If you look at the artwork throughout every generation, you see an impression of that generation and not just paint on a canvas.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Smith: I love movies. You have to love Gladiator for the action and Tropic Thunder for the humor. We went and saw The Change-Up as a team and that was really funny.
Question: What is your favorite spot on Grounds?
Smith: I really like the amphitheater over by Lambeth (Field). It's really pretty and it's not very well known.