Oct. 10, 1997
Fifth-year senior Kelly McLaughlin leads the Cavaliers
For the last five years, Kelly McLaughlin has been a key part of the University of Virginia women's soccer team. Now in her final season, the fifth-year senior from Scotch Plains, N.J., who is also in her second season as a captain, has high expectations for the team. "We have already accomplished a lot this year, like going to the West coast and winning the Portland Invitational," McLaughlin says. "That gave us a look at what we can do this season. I really think we can do well in the post-season." McLaughlin brings advantages to the Virginia Cavaliers which extend beyond her skillful play. She brings a level of intensity and persistence which set the example to her teammates. "I am definitely a very intense, competitive player," McLaughlin says. "I am very focused and concentrated. I always keep track of what I am doing individually - winning head balls, tackling, or how many times my opponent beats me. I think of myself as a hard player." As one of the leaders on this year's squad, McLaughlin is focused on the importance of every game. "Since this is my last season, I want to put everything I have into it and really enjoy it," McLaughlin says. "The atmosphere of collegiate sports is a unique one. Every game I try to play like it is my last game. I do not want to be wasting games because I'm not into it or because I don't feel good." McLauhglin's hard work ethic is reflected by the path she took to become a member of the women's soccer team.
During the summer before her senior year at Scotch Plains H.S., McLaughlin tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee. An All-State selection in each of her first three years at Scotch Plains, McLaughlin was forced to miss the most important portion of the recruiting season, and many schools chose not to pursue her.
At UVa, the coaching staff urged McLaughlin to walk-on to the team, where she red-shirted in her first year. During that season McLaughlin practiced with the team, but her knee was still not fully healthy. During the next season, McLaughlin saw action in only six games but was still recognized as the team's Most Improved Player. "I had some tough times," Mclaughlin says. "I was not used to the role of not playing, and it was tough just getting to know the team."
McLaughlin established herself as a force for the Cavaliers during the 1995 season. That year, she started in 20 of the team's 21 games and was second on the team in minutes played. She scored six goals from her defensive midfield position, including game-tying goals against Clemson and William & Mary. McLaughlin's greatest moment at UVa occurred in the first start of her collegiate career. "We were at a tournament in California," McLaughlin says. "It was the first game of the season, and I scored my first collegiate goal and our team's first goal of the season. It was really exciting." Although McLaughlin is a fierce defender, she admits that she still finds great satisfaction in scoring the occasional goal. "I love to make a tackle or a save on the goal line, but when you score a goal everything stops and everyone is excited," McLaughlin says. "I think the feeling is the same, but with a goal it is magnified. If I make a tackle the feeling is personal, but when I score a goal it is usually a header off of a corner kick, which is real exciting." After this season, McLaughlin will pursue a career in veterinarian medicine, but she will always reflect fondly on her days as a member of the UVa women's soccer team. "I would like to be thought of as a quality soccer player who really worked hard to get where she was and succeeded."
'Hoos Learn Painful Lessons in LossMen's Basketball12/3/16No. 6 Virginia's 24-game winning streak at John Paul Jones Arena ended Saturday with a 66-57 loss to No. 25 West Virginia.Soccer Teams Turn Attention to 2017Men's Soccer12/2/16The Virginia men's and women's soccer teams are fixtures in their respective NCAA tournaments, and 2017 should bring more success for both.Home-Court Advantage Proves Pivotal AgainMen's Basketball12/1/16No. 6 Virginia, which hosts No. 25 West Virginia on Saturday afternoon, has won 24 straight games at John Paul Jones Arena.
Director of News Content
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.
Shaffer Named NSCAA All-American
W. Soccer | 12/2/2016
Senior midfielder Alexis Shaffer earned first-team All-America honors from the National Soccer...
Jeff White: Soccer Teams Turn Attention to 2017
W. Soccer | 12/2/2016
Virginia's soccer teams are fixtures in their respective NCAA tournaments, and 2017 should bring ...
McNabb, Shaffer Named NSCAA All-Region Selections
W. Soccer | 11/30/2016
Virginia seniors Kristen McNabb and Alexis Shaffer earned All-Region honors from the NSCAA it was...
Shaffer Named MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist
W. Soccer | 11/29/2016
Senior midfielder Alexis Shaffer has been named one of 15 semifinalists for the MAC Hermann...
No. 15 Virginia's Season Ends At No. 5 Georgetown
W. Soccer | 11/20/2016
The season came to an end in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday as No. 15 Virginia...
No. 15 Virginia Faces No. 5 Georgetown In Sweet 16 Sunday
W. Soccer | 11/19/2016
The No. 15 Virginia women's soccer team plays in the NCAA Sweet 16 for the 12th consecutive...
Virginia Advances With 3-0 Win Over Penn State
W. Soccer | 11/18/2016
Virginia got a first-minute goal and played aggressive soccer throughout on the way to a 3-0 win ...
Jeff White: Shaffer's Star Continues to Rise at UVA
W. Soccer | 11/17/2016
All-ACC midfielder Alexis Shaffer is the leading scorer for Virginia, which meets Penn State in...
- Online Stores