Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 14 No. 4 | February 2022

16 Inside Hokie Sports Florida transfer Hannah Mardiney also will be a name to watch out for with her ability to score at any given moment. “She makes a lot of things happen, she’s got great vision, she’s a great feeder. We definitely expect her to do some great things out on the field.” The Hokies’ midfield is an area of relative inexperience. Sophie Student who played in 16 games last season, scoring five points and corralling 21 draw controls. “She’s been ‘Steady Eddie’ amazing throughout the fall, a very levelheaded player,” said Skiera about the Massachusetts native. “She’s fast, athletic, and does a lot of great things. She’s been outstanding.” True freshman Olivia Vergano is another member of the midfield that Skiera categorized as having a really good fall and could be poised to be an impact player. “She’s a big playmaker in the midfield, very strong, just built for this type of experience from a physical standpoint,” she said about Vergano, who calls near Long Island home. “She’s going to be another really fun player to watch. She doesn’t carry herself like a freshman, she’s matured beyond her years.” Junior Kayla Frank is back in a Hokie uniform after stepping away from the game for a year. In 2020, her freshman season, she led the team and was sixth in Division I in scoring, posting 45 points in 10 games. She garnered Inside Lacrosse All-American Honorable Mention and All-Rookie Team accolades. The defensive end of the field is where the majority of the on-field experience resides for this Virginia Tech team. Skiera spoke with confidence that the defensive unit is one that is in good shape, led by team captain and veteran defender Jordan Tilley, a senior from Baltimore, who has been a mainstay on the backline. Junior Mary Griffin is sure to be involved as well, who Skiera defines as ‘a really feisty defender.’ Though a thin unit, the Tech goalies are great shape, led by grad student Morgan Berman in the cage. “She takes risk, she’s exciting to watch, she’s athletic, and she just does a great job saving the ball and doing her job,” Skiera explained when talking about another one of her three captains. Skiera won’t delay in instilling the right mindset to take the Hokies to the next level. “The things that we have been uncompromising on so far here is just driving home the concept of competing,” she emphasized. SkieraContinued from page 15