This week the Virginia women’s soccer team opens its regular season schedule as the No. 11 Cavaliers visit No. 6 Penn State Friday night. Virginiasports.com caught up with goalkeeper Chantel Jones to review the team’s preseason training camp and preview the start of the season.
Question: The team went to Michigan for a week of training camp again this season. How did the camp go?
Jones: It was different. We have so many new people that there was a lot of focus on integrating them into our team. We got a lot of training and conditioning in, especially conditioning on the dunes. Overall it was fun and I think we made some big strides.
Question: Is going away for camp even more beneficial when you have so many new players?
Jones: It is crucial. We lost our entire starting defense from last year and a lot of the first-years are defenders, so we have to work on having that gel. I think we did a good job and you could see the improvement each day of camp.
Question: You missed last season due to competing at the U-20 World Cup. Two years ago, you were a rookie goalkeeper with a veteran defense in front of you. Now, you are a veteran goalkeeper with a new defense in front of you. How has this year been different for you?
Jones: It is tough, but I am willing to step up. I have always been hungry for new challenges and I love competition. Just being able to come in and have brand new figurative ball of clay to mold into my defense is exciting.
Question: Last week, you played two exhibitions against two strong Big East teams in Notre Dame and Georgetown. What did you take away from those games?
Jones: The most important thing coach Swanson told us not to worry about the score. It was a chance to see where we were as a team, especially our defense. Defense was a big focus during the preseason. Those exhibitions gave us a chance to see the little things that don’t show up in the final score like balls over the top, our shape, and transitioning into the attack.
Question: You open the season Friday at Penn State. It is a strong test to open the season, playing a ranked team on the road. What are you expecting?
Jones: It is definitely exciting. It is important for us to work on improving throughout the non-conference schedule so that we are ready when the ACC season starts. It is an opportunity to take the things we learned against Notre Dame and Georgetown and keep building.
Question: Does playing a non-conference schedule against teams like Penn State, West Virginia, Arizona and Arizona State get you ready for playing in the ACC?
Jones: For sure. Those games will compare to what we will see game-in and game-out in the ACC. The ACC is the best conference in the nation and you need to test yourself in the non-conference part of the schedule to be ready for the conference games.
Williams' UVA Journey Nearing Its EndMen's Lacrosse4/26/17One game remains in the college career of attackman Zed Williams, who'll graduate from UVA next month with a bachelor's degree in drama.Afamefuna Thriving in New RoleMen's Soccer4/24/17After making the ACC's All-Freshman team as a defender last fall, Virginia's Robin Afamefuna is looking to contribute more at the attacking end this year.'Hoos Head Into Postseason on High NoteWomen's Lacrosse4/22/17In its regular-season finale, Virginia clinched the No. 3 seed in the ACC tournament with a 6-5 win over Virginia Tech at Klöckner Stadium.
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.
Jeff White: 'Hoos Happy to Have Petersen Back in Fold
W. Soccer | 4/4/2017
Courtney Petersen missed Virginia's 2016 season while playing for the United States in the FIFA U...
Virginia Women's Soccer Announces Spring Schedule
W. Soccer | 3/7/2017
The Virginia women’s soccer program announced its spring schedule Tuesday with a six-game...
Three Virginia Student-Athletes Earn ACC Postgraduate Honors
W. Soccer | 2/22/2017
Three Virginia student-athletes have been honored with 2017 ACC Postgraduate Awards, as announced...
Four Named To All-ACC Academic Women's Soccer Team
W. Soccer | 2/7/2017
Four members of the Virginia women's soccer team were named to the Atlantic Coast Conference...
Shaffer, McNabb Taken In 2017 NWSL Draft
W. Soccer | 1/12/2017
Seniors Alexis Shaffer and Kristen McNabb were both selected in the 2017 NWSL College Draft on...
Shaffer Leads Six UVA Players In Earning VaSID Honors
W. Soccer | 12/20/2016
Senior midfielder Alexis Shaffer was named the Player of the Year by the Virginia Sports...
Shaffer Named NSCAA All-American
W. Soccer | 12/02/2016
Senior midfielder Alexis Shaffer earned first-team All-America honors from the National Soccer...
Jeff White: Soccer Teams Turn Attention to 2017
W. Soccer | 12/02/2016
Virginia's soccer teams are fixtures in their respective NCAA tournaments, and 2017 should bring ...
- Online Stores