Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 14 No. 6 | June 2022 29 ATHLETICSANNUALREPORT whole new element of work ethic and trust. I’ve loved the comradery and playing in tri-nations series and friendly games against other nations but unfortunately I was a little plagued by an injury so was selected as an alternate at the 2009 World Cup in Prague. I took this onboard as a privilege and my opportunity to continue to play alongside the best players in Australia, and some of the best in the World, and push them to be better whilst also bettering myself. To be able to work with 16 incredibly motivated, experienced, and determined athletes every day that you get to call your teammates and coached by the best of the best is pretty bloody inspiring. KL: Anything you learned at VT that you still value today? KT: Number one was “On time is actually late.... like heaps late!”. So, if training starts at 4:00 p.m. don’t get there at 4:00 p.m., or 4:15 p.m.... Also, there’s no such time as ‘ish’ over there at VT; 4ish just kinda means 4:15 here! We’re obviously a pretty relaxed nation so I learned quickly to actually have my cleats on and stick ready at 3:30 p.m. (yes, early!). Oh, and your water bottle WILL freeze in 15 minutes on the bench in Blacksburg.... It seriously takes all night in the freezer here! But seriously, I can’t list all the experiences and values I have taken away from VT. It was a pretty big deal to leave my beach life in Australia and fly across the world to a new place in a valley nowhere near the beach, knowing no-one, and start a new life. I guess when you’re entering into a team you’re pretty much gifted 20ish awesome automatic new mates. It’s super heart-warming that so many of these are still my ‘bestest’ friends to this day. I love facetiming with them and their kiddos. The fact that we are now at the stage where we are reading bed time stories to each other’s kids across the world is pretty bloody special. Kate closed with: A BIG FAT THANK YOU to VT! I’m forever grateful for my scholarship, the staff, teammates, friends, and families at VT. It has helped shape the person I am today and the values I instill in my own two daughters (well one of them anyway, my youngest has a mind and beat of her own)! GO HOKIES! MEN’S SOCCER After a 2021 season where the Hokies finished 11-5-4 and made their sixth consecutive NCAA tournament, Coach Brizendine has put together an exciting 2022 recruiting class: Zayyan Ahmed –Defender (Leesburg, VA); Ethan Ballek –Midfielder (Timnath, CO); Will Cardona –Midfielder (Fort Mill, SC); Theo Drennan –Midfielder (Mechanicsville, VA); Ben Fisher –Midfielder (Alexandria, VA); Zach Glesius –Goalkeeper (Avon Lake, OH); Grant Howard –Defender (Mableton, GA); & Xavier O’Neil –Forward (Ashburn, VA). This incoming class will look to build on some of the highlights from this past year: (i) One of five D-1 teams to make the NCAA Tournament the last six years in a row and join just Indiana and Wake Forest as the only three teams to advance in each of the last six tournaments; (ii) Five players on All-ACC Academic Team: Sivert Haugli (’21), Cameron Joice (’22), Ben Martino (’25), Kyle McDowell (’23), & Conor Pugh (’24); (iii) Three players joining professional ranks: Sivert Haugli (’21) - Portland Timbers (MLS); Tyler Taber (’25) –Racing FC Union Luxembourg (Luxembourg National Division); Jacob Labovitz (’21) –Greenville Triumph (USL League One); (iv) VaSID Player of the Year, Jacob Labovitz (’21), & (v) VaSID Coach of the Year, Mike Brizendine! As it relates to upcoming VTMS alumni events, whether in Blacksburg or regionally, please make sure you’re connected with your Monogram Club men’s soccer representative, Charlie Howe– ’06 ( After a departure from holding alumni soccer events due to the pandemic, we are looking forward to once again scheduling events in Blacksburg and regionally in other cities. Please stay tuned for more information. To connect with your former soccer alumni, please look for us on Facebook as we continue to grow our network and share past pictures and memories. Please search for “Virginia Tech Men’s Soccer Players, Alumni, and Friends of the Program.” Martin Knows WE’RE HERE FOR YOU As you think about future vacations and trips, travel with someone you trust. As your source for all things travel, Martin Travel is here for you before, during, and after your trip. ©2020 AAA Club Alliance Inc. 20_717265b C o n t a c t a M a r t i n T r a v e l A d v i s o r T o d a y Ma r t i nTr a v e l . c om / H o k i e s | 5 4 0 - 3 4 3 - 5 4 0 0 | I n f o@Ma r t i nTr a v e l . c om TR_IN_20_717265b_Martin Travel_Hokies Insert-7.5x4.8_DN3.indd 1 6/19/2020 9:51:28 AM