Sep 5, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 21 Virginia men's soccer team opens the 11-game ACC schedule Friday with its road opener at Clemson. Game time is slated for 8 p.m. at Historic Riggs Field in Clemson, S.C. ESPN3 will have the live video broadcast of the contest; a link to live statistics also can be found at VirginiaSports.com.
The Cavaliers are ranked 21st nationally in the latest Soccer Times rankings, while Clemson is unranked.
Last Time Out: Virginia 2, No. 19 St. John's 0
Virginia earned its first win of 2013, 2-0, Monday evening at home over No. 19 St. John's. Freshman Jordan Allen had a big night in just his second college game, recording a goal as well as an assist. He also forced a penalty kick after drawing a foul in the box early in the second half.
Brian James picked up the Cavaliers' first goal of the evening, on an assist from Allen. Goalkeeper Jeff Gal claimed his first win and clean sheet in a Virginia uniform; he recorded one save, but also made another key stop in the second half following a deflection in the box.
Virginia owns a 27-22-5 edge in its all-time series with Clemson which dates to 1968. Clemson won 2-0 last season in Charlottesville, and the road team has won the last five matches in the series. UVa has won in four of its last five trips to Riggs Field.
Youth Dominates Cavaliers' Lineup
Virginia has started nine underclassmen in both matches (seven sophomores, two freshmen). Juniors Ryan Zinkhan (both matches) and Eric Bird (St. John's) and senior Kevin McBride (Louisville) are the lone upperclassmen to start this year. Last year underclassmen (primarily freshmen) played 81 percent of the possible minutes.
Clemson is off to a 2-0 start, its best opening to a season since 2006. The Tigers defeated rival South Carolina 2-1 in double overtime on Monday. Clemson opened the year with a 2-0 victory over Mercer.
New-Look ACC for 2013
ACC Men's Soccer begins conference play this weekend with a new look with the addition of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse; Louisville will join the league and replace Maryland (leaving for Big Ten) in 2014.
The league will continue its traditional round-robin schedule, meaning each team will play 11 conference games out of 17 total regular-season games. There will be 10 weekends of conference play; each team also will play one midweek conference match.
The new teams add more firepower to what already was the nation's top soccer conference: Notre Dame was the top seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, while Syracuse advanced to the tournament's round of 16.
Up Next for the Wahoos
Virginia gets a week off before traveling to Wake Forest next Friday (Sept. 13). The Cavaliers return home Sept. 17 for an in-state battle with George Mason.