Steve Swanson is in his 14th season as women's soccer coach at Virginia. He's coached a pair of ACC championship teams -- including last year's -- and the Cavaliers have never missed an NCAA Tournament under his direction.
But Swanson says his current team -- now 12-0 on the season, and once again the unanimous No. 1 team in the country -- is the most close-knit group he's ever had at UVa.
"I think from right on through, all 25 of our players, they're committed to one another and they're committed to our goals," Swanson told reporters on Monday at John Paul Jones Arena. "And I think they're unified. And that makes a big difference."
The Cavaliers' 12-0 start is the best in Swanson's tenure as head coach. Only the 1990 UVa team that opened the season with 15 straight wins got off to a better start, or won more consecutive games in program history.
This year's team is also the only group in the country still without a loss or tie on its record. This marks the fourth consecutive week that the Cavaliers are ranked No. 1 in the country -- although Swanson says you wouldn't know it from spending time around his team.
"I think what's so good about this team, too, is they keep things in perspective. I think they've got a good perspective," he said. "I know most teams, it would be hard to handle as long as we've handled this No. 1 thing. But I don't think it even registers to them."
Virginia will look for its 13th straight win on Thursday night at Klöckner Stadium, when the Cavaliers host another nationally-ranked opponent, Notre Dame.