CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia men's soccer team visits Virginia Tech Friday evening in a key ACC matchup. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Thompson Field. Live statistics as well as a link to a subscription-based live video broadcast will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
Ranked as high as 21st nationally by Soccer America, the Cavaliers (9-5-0, 3-2-0 ACC) are looking for key points in the ACC race. UVa currently is tied for fourth place in the ACC with Wake Forest (3-3-0) with nine points, although UVa has a game in hand on the Demon Deacons. UVa is a point behind North Carolina and Duke, but also has a game in hand on the Tar Heels. The top four teams in the final standings earn home-field advantage in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.
The match Friday marks Virginia's final contest away from home in the 2011 regular season. UVa is 2-1 in true road games and 4-2 away from home in 2011. The Cavaliers have played twice at Thompson Field already this season, winning 1-0 over Cincinnati (Sept. 2) and 4-2 over Wisconsin (Sept. 4) to claim the Hokie Invitational championship.
Virginia stands 15th in the NCAA's first RPI report for 2011, which was released Tuesday. UVa is the highest-ranked five-loss team in the ratings. The Cavaliers get big points from their strength of schedule; UVa has played a very tough schedule, featuring No. 2 Maryland, No. 7 UNC, No. 12 Charlotte, No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 26 Duke and No. 35 West Virginia (RPI rankings).
UVa defeated Howard, 2-0, in Tuesday evening at home. Virginia out-shot the Bison, 30-2, as the Cavaliers spent virtually the entire match in the Howard third of the field. Hunter Jumper (Sr., Plano, Texas) and Will Bates (Jr., Chester, Va.) each scored for Virginia (9-5-0).
The Bison did not record a shot until the 73rd minute. UVa goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita (Fr., Raleigh, N.C.) did not face a shot on goal all evening and was credited with his fifth shutout.
Bates continues to lead the team with 14 goals. He ranks second in the ACC and third nationally in goals. Bates has the most goals in a year by a UVa player since Yannick Reyering tallied 14 in 2005 and the most points (32) since Reyering posted 32 in 2006.
Coming off a 1-0 win over Wright State Tuesday, Virginia Tech stands 4-9-1 this season, including a 1-4-0 mark in conference play. The Hokies' ACC win came on Sept. 10, a 1-0 double-overtime win over then-No. 1 North Carolina. Goalkeeper Kyle Renfro has made an ACC-high 74 saves this year. Virginia Tech ranks ninth in the ACC with 12 goals this year and has allowed 18 goals - fifth in the conference.
Virginia owns a 35-4-1 all-time record against Virginia Tech and has won 18 of the 20 meetings over the past 25 years. Virginia has won the last five contests; Tech's last win was in 2005 (2-1 in OT in Blacksburg).
UVa downed Tech 2-1 in OT last season in Charlottesville on a golden goal by Greg Monaco (Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) in the 92nd minute.
Virginia begins a stretch of three straight home games to wrap up the regular season on Tuesday when American comes to Klöckner Stadium for a 7 p.m. game.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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