Season Opens Friday for Brian, Wahoos

Morgan Brian was asked Thursday afternoon if she felt like the Virginia women's soccer team was taking some unfinished business into the 2014 season.

"Yes. Very," the midfielder answered. "Obviously, if you have a huge goal last year, and you come pretty short of it, losing in (penalty kicks) against a very good team, who actually ended up winning it, this year you're going to try to go out and win it."

Brian and the Cavaliers ended the 2013 season two wins shy of a national title, with UCLA advancing in penalty kicks at the College Cup semifinals, and eventually winning the national title.

That experience was just part of what's been a whirlwind year for Brian, who begins her senior season at UVa Friday night when the Cavaliers open up against Marshall at Klöckner Stadium.

Brian helped the Cavaliers go 19-0 during the regular season in 2013, and spend much of the year ranked No. 1 nationally. Individually, Brian won the program's first MAC Hermann Trophy -- given to the best player in college soccer each season -- after tying for the ACC lead with 46 points, and leading the league with 14 assists.

Brian has also made a dozen appearances with the US Women's National Team since June 2013 -- including 13 minutes off the bench in Wednesday's 4-1 win over Switzerland in Cary, North Carolina.

Brian didn't get back to Charlottesville following that game until early Thursday morning -- but told reporters that afternoon that she was ready to start her senior season.

"I'm good.," she said. "I think I'm getting back with the team; I did most of preseason with them. Been with the national team for a couple of days. So right now I'm feeling fresh and ready to go."

"You know, she's worked very hard at it," UVa coach Steve Swanson said of Brian's busy schedule. "She's deserved it, and earned every bit of it. We're proud of her, and want to finish her career off in style. Hopefully we can, we're working very hard for that."

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