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November 16, 1998

KANSAS CITY – If the University of Virginia is to make it five national titles in the 1990s, it will not travel more than 90 miles to do so. The Cavaliers (14-3-3) will be the No. 2 overall seed in the 1998 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament it was announced here Monday night. UVa will take on Rider in the first round Nov. 22 at Klockner Stadium. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Virginia is 33-13-4 all-time in the national tournament with titles in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994. Since 1989, the Cavaliers have posted a 29-3-3 mark in tournament play.

The No. 2 seed means that Virginia will play at home in the first three rounds should it not be eliminated. The Final Four will be Dec. 11 and 13 in Richmond.

“The (NCAA Selection) committee has sent a message as far as strength of schedule,” head coach George Gelnovatch said moments after the UVa locker room erupted in jubilation at announcement of the Cavaliers’ seeding.

Virginia had the second-toughest schedule in the nation, playing 11 teams with NCAA strength ratings of one or two. Only Maryland with 12 played more.

Clemson (20-1) will be the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, followed by the Cavaliers, Duke, Washington, St. John’s, UCLA, Cal State-Fullerton and Indiana. Two of UVa’s three losses this season were to Clemson and Duke.

The Atlantic Coast Conference led all conferences with four bids. Maryland will face CAA Tournament champion Richmond in the first round with the winner facing the winner of Duke versus Jacksonville.

“In the past few years some people have really been slacking the ACC,” Gelnovatch said. “I think this shows that the ACC is indeed the best men’s soccer conference in the nation.”

The winner of the Cavaliers’ match with Rider will face the winner of South Carolina and Virginia Commonwealth. Should Virginia defeat Rider, the game will be played in Charlottesville. Other games in UVa’s quarter of the bracket are Cal State-Fullerton hosting San Diego and San Jose State at Stanford.

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