Senior Shelly Edmonds is one of six Virginia field hockey players who will be honored this weekend as the class of 2011 plays its final regular season games at the University Hall Turf Field. The third-ranked Cavaliers welcome No. 14 Wake Forest at 1 p.m. Saturday before playing host to Radford at 1 p.m. Sunday. Edmonds, a native of Emmaus, Pa., recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to chat about senior day, the season thus far and her thoughts heading into postseason play.
Question: What kinds of emotions will you have this weekend?
Edmonds: It is going to be a very weird feeling to play my last few games here at home. It has been such a great experience to play field hockey here at Virginia. It has not really hit me that this is my last year. But, at the same time, I am also looking forward to what is to come. We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us and I think an opportunity to advance far in postseason play.
Question: What would you say has been the greatest moment for you in a Cavalier uniform?
Edmonds: By far, the greatest moment for me was last year in the NCAA Tournament when we beat Michigan State, in overtime, here in Charlottesville. It was one of the coldest days of the fall and that just added to the experience. Coming out on top and advancing to the NCAA semifinals in front of our home fans was a great, great feeling!
Question: If you could tell incoming first years one thing about your experience, at UVa, what would it be?
Edmonds: I think my overall experience as a student-athlete is something that I will always remember and is something that every incoming student-athlete should very much look forward to. We have one of the greatest turf fields in the country and if you combine that with the John Paul Jones dining hall and academic center, you have one of the greatest facilities in the nation.
Question: What have been your impressions of the season thus far?
Edmonds: I think we have played extremely well. But I think we also have a few things we need to get better on as we get ready for postseason play. We have been working extremely hard in practice and I think we are really starting to gel at the right time.
Question: Have the losses to then-No. 1 Maryland and No. 1 North Carolina been learning experiences for the team?
Edmonds: Games like that are definitely learning experiences for everyone. Part of being the best is learning how to beat the best, and I think that is something that will be very important for us as we get into playoffs. We now know what it takes to beat the best and we also know that we have the talent to play with anyone in the country.
Question: There are three games left before the ACC Tournament. What final preparations do you feel this team needs to make before postseason play begins?
Edmonds: I think we really need to get better at passing the ball. But, I also believe that we have gotten significantly better at that in the last few games. The game against William & Mary was one of our better performances as a team all season. I think this is something we can build on for our last three regular season games.
Question: What are your plans after graduation?
Edmonds: I really have not thought too much about what I am going to do after graduation. I am excited to get my degree from the University of Virginia and feel like it has prepared me well for whatever I decide to do.
Question: What are you doing in the spring, once the season is over?
Edmonds: I am actually going to do the study abroad Semester at Sea program. I have always wanted to do this, but with field hockey I have never had the opportunity until now. I am so excited to travel the world and see other places.
Question: What do you see from this team in the coming years?
Edmonds: I feel like this program has been heading in the right direction for many years and we will continue to be very successful. All of the younger players have the attitude and mentality it takes to win. Hopefully I am able to make it back for a few games and watch this team do great things!