The GW women’s soccer team will renew its rivalry with the University of Virginia when the Colonial women open the 1998 season against the sixth-ranked Cavaliers at South Riding Field Tuesday.
Last year, GW lost at Virginia 4-1. GW defeated the Cavaliers in 1996 at South Riding 2-1 when Virginia was ranked 10th in the nation. The Colonial women also beat Virginia last spring in a tournament in Maryland.
First-year head coach Michele Rodriguez-Smith said she thinks her team is ready to play and is capable of notching its first win of the season Tuesday.
“They are the fittest that I have ever seen them,” said Rodriguez-Smith, who is entering her fourth year with the program. Even though the team didn’t face any preseason competition, she said she feels the team is mentally ready for Virginia.
“Not having a preseason scrimmage only makes the team more excited to play,” Rodriguez-Smith said. Assistant coach Brian Pensky agreed the team is physically ready for the first match, and added that playing a quality team like Virginia is a good way to start the season.
“There is no greater motivator than playing against a great team early on,” Pensky said.
“The team is ready to play and we are physically fit, which will help us,” senior Jane Lea said. Lauren Komar, a veteran of the team, said she thinks the experience of this GW squad will pay off against a talented Virginia team.
“We know how it feels to beat a powerhouse like U-Va.,” Komar said. “We have had a tough preseason and we are ready to play U-Va.” Komar, who was a member of the team that beat Virginia two years ago, said she also sees the game as an opportunity for the Colonial women to boost their postseason aspirations.
“Playing a team like U-Va. is a real credit to a school’s program,” Komar said. “This game will help in the NCAA selection process.”