Aug. 29, 2012
- The Virginia men's soccer team begins its 2012 regular-season home schedule this weekend as it battles the top two preseason favorites in the Pacific-12 Conference, No. 22 California and No. 11 UCLA. The Cavaliers match up with the Golden Bears at 7 p.m. Friday and take on the Bruins at 7 p.m. Sunday at Klöckner Stadium.
Live video of both contests will be available with a subscription through Cavaliers Live on VirginiaSports.com. GameTracker links also will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
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).
Friday is Camp Reunion Day at Klöckner Stadium.
Sunday is Cavman's Crew Day, and free silicone bracelets are available for the first 200 youth in attendance. The Fan Zone will open one hour prior to the start of the UVa-UCLA game. There will be inflatables, face painting and poster making on the upper grass field near Klöckner.
Sunday also marks the first Trading Card Day of the season.
Young Cavaliers Look to Rebound
The Cavaliers (0-1) will aim to rebound after a tough 2-1 overtime loss to Georgetown last Friday at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md. The Hoyas won by virtue of a Virginia own goal just over five minutes into overtime.
Zach Carroll (Fr., Grand Blanc, Mich.) scored the Cavaliers' goal in the 70th minute. UVa goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita (So., Raleigh, N.C.) made a pair of saves for the Cavaliers.
After getting out-shot, 4-1, in the first half, Virginia pressured Georgetown throughout the second half and out-shot the Hoyas, 8-5, and finished with a 10-9 shot advantage.
Georgetown stunned the Cavaliers with a goal just 22 seconds into the match, and the Cavaliers, who started nine freshmen and sophomores, kept the deficit there before they started clicking offensively midway through the second half. Carroll struck from 25 yards out following a deflection in the box to knot the score.
Georgetown benefited from a fortuitous bounce at the 95:29 mark, as the Hoyas' cross into the box was headed in by the Cavaliers for the golden goal.
Youth is Served
Virginia has one of its youngest rosters in program history. Eighteen of the Cavaliers' 27 players on the roster are in their freshman or sophomore years of eligibility. Half of the 18 underclassmen were in the starting lineup last Friday against Georgetown.
Two more, sophomore Ryan Zinkhan (Fredericksburg, Va.) and freshman Todd Wharton (Glen Allen, Va.) came off the bench Friday. In all, nearly 85 percent of the Cavaliers' minutes in the opener came from underclassmen (886 of 1,045).
Cavaliers Ranked Fifth in Preseason ACC Poll
Virginia was selected fifth in the Preseason ACC Men's Soccer Coaches' Poll. Maryland is the preseason conference favorite, according to voting by the league's nine head coaches. North Carolina, Wake Forest and Boston College were selected second through fourth, respectively.
The Golden Bears (1-0) started off the season on a positive note with a 2-1 win at Santa Clara last Friday evening; with that win, Cal moved into the Soccer America national rankings at No. 22. Alec Sundly and Tony Salciccia each scored for the Bears.
Cal was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 after going 3-9-5 last year. 2011 All-Pac-12 honorees Steve Birnbaum, Tony Salciccia, Seth Casiple, John Fitzpatrick and Connor Hallisey are among the top returnees for Cal.
The programs are meeting for just the third time, with each winning once. UVa won the last meeting on Nov. 18, 2006, scoring a 2-1 victory over the Bears in an NCAA tournament match at Klöckner Stadium.
UCLA (0-1) dropped a 3-2 decision to then-No. 6 New Mexico last Friday in Los Angeles. The Bruins were ranked as high as No. 2 nationally prior to their contest with UNM and now are ranked as high as No. 11 (NSCAA). UCLA will play at Maryland Friday evening prior to its visit to Charlottesville.
The preseason favorite to win the Pac-12 this year, UCLA reached the NCAA College Cup last year before falling to eventual national champion North Carolina in penalty kicks in the semifinals.
The Bruins are making their first trip to Charlottesville since 2001. UCLA holds a 6-2-1 edge in the all-time series with Virginia. The teams last met in 2006 in the NCAA College Cup, with the Bruins scoring a 4-0 win in St. Louis.
Virginia continues a six-match homestand on Friday, Sept. 7, when it plays host to Duke in the ACC opener at 7:30 p.m.