No. 12 Wahoos Open ACC Play Friday at No. 25 Duke

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia men's soccer team begins ACC play at 7 p.m. Friday when it travels to Durham, N.C., to face Duke at Koskinen Stadium. The match is the NSCAA Game of the Week and will be televised to a national audience by FOX Soccer Channel, with Dean Linke, Keith Tabatznik and Charlie Slagle on the call (Comcast 267, DirecTV 619, Dish 149 or 877).

Live statistics also will be available at VirginiaSports.com.

Virginia is ranked as high as 12th nationally by Top Drawer Soccer; the Cavaliers also are ranked 18th by Soccer America and 24th by the NSCAA. Duke is ranked 25th nationally by Top Drawer Soccer.

Virginia (3-1-0) has won three straight matches, including a sweep of Cincinnati (1-0) and Wisconsin (4-2) last weekend at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg. Brian Ownby was named the tournament MVP after scoring a pair of second-half goals to lead UVa to a comeback win. Will Bates, Ari Dimas and Brian Span joined Ownby on the all-tournament team.

After sitting out the first two matches this season with an injury, Ownby returned to the UVa lineup in the 57th minute of the Cincinnati game. He gave the Cavaliers' lineup an instant spark in the then-scoreless game and played the final 28 minutes vs. Cincinnati (game called after 85 minutes because of lightning). Ownby was inserted to start the second half against Wisconsin with UVa trailing 1-0; he scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, as UVa came back to win.

Bates also is coming off a big week in which he scored four goals and added a pair of assists in Virginia's three wins. He scored twice and had two assists in a 7-1 win over Richmond, then scored the game-winning goal against Cincinnati and tallied the Cavaliers' final goal in the 4-2 win over Richmond. Bates now is tied for the ACC lead with four goals and ranks second with 10 points. He spearheads a UVa offense which is tied with Boston College and Maryland for the ACC lead with 12 goals this season.

True freshman Spencer LaCivita has played every minute in goal this year for Virginia and owns a 1.01 goals against average. He is one of six freshmen who started last Sunday against Wisconsin. Seven freshmen have started at least one game and 11 have played this year for UVa - both rank as ACC highs this year.

Duke is 1-3-0 this season, although two of the three defeats have come to teams that are currently ranked. Last weekend the Blue Devils suffered overtime defeats to No. 9 UCSB (3-2) and No. 17 SMU (1-0) in the Duke/Nike Soccer Classic. Andrew Wenger leads the team with three goals on 21 shots. James Belshaw and has gone the distance in goal in all four matches and has a 1.69 goals against average.

Virginia owns a slim 37-36-8 edge in the all-time series with Duke. The two teams played to a 2-2 draw in last meeting, held nearly a year to the day as this game, Sept. 11, 2010, in Durham. Duke owns a 4-1-1 advantage in the last six meetings, dating to 2006. UVa's last win in Durham came on Oct. 20, 2001, a 1-0 overtime victory.

Virginia returns home next week to start a four-game homestand. The Cavaliers will match up with Liberty at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Klöckner Stadium.