Aug. 23, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia men's soccer team begins the 2012 regular season at 7:30 p.m. Friday when it faces Georgetown in the ACC/BIG EAST Challenge at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md. The programs will match up for the first time in 15 years.
Virginia boasts one of its youngest rosters during head coach George Gelnovatch's 17 years at the helm of the program. Eighteen of the 27 players on the roster are in their freshman or sophomore years of eligibility.
Virginia has just two seniors on the roster, Will Bates (Chester, Va.) and Ari Dimas (Chesapeake, Va). Bates was a 2011 First-Team All-ACC honoree after scoring 14 goals in 15 games. Dimas started all 15 games in which he played in 2011. Both were starters on UVa's national championship team in 2009.
Overall, Virginia returns 17 letterwinners, including seven starters, from the 2011 squad which went 12-8-1 (4-3-1 ACC) and made the program's 31st-consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. UVa was selected fifth in the Preseason ACC Men's Soccer Coaches Poll.
Virginia also welcomes in a decorated class of seven freshmen which should figure prominently in the Cavaliers' lineup. The class was rated No. 2 nationally by Top Drawer Soccer in its 2012 recruiting rankings, while five of the seven players were ranked on the ESPNHS Class of 2012 150 College Prospects list.
The Cavaliers won both of their preseason exhibition contests, as they knocked off No. 13 St. John's, 1-0, and Liberty, 3-0, with both matches coming in Charlottesville.
Virginia and Georgetown last played on Nov. 30, 1997, a 5-1 UVa victory at Klöckner Stadium in the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. The programs last played in regular-season competition on Sept. 22, 1993, a 4-1 Virginia victory in Charlottesville. UVa holds an 8-1-1 series edge overall.
Georgetown went 10-5-4 (5-3-1 BIG EAST) in 2011 and returns its top five scorers from that squad. Steve Neumann led the Hoyas in scoring a season ago with 11 goals and seven assists and returns this year as a First-Team All-BIG EAST Preseason Team selection. The Hoyas bring back nine starters and 18 letterwinners from their 2011 side.
Single-game and season tickets for Virginia men's soccer currently are on sale through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office.
To purchase tickets online, visit VirginiaSports.com/Tickets. In-person purchases can be made at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).
Virginia starts its home schedule next Friday night (Aug. 31) when it entertains California at Klöckner Stadium. UVa then plays No. 2 UCLA at home on Sept. 2.