Men's Soccer Opens 1998 Season at Fila Classic
Sept. 1, 1998
THE GAMES: Fila Classic Titan Stadium Fullerton, Calif.
No. 4 Virginia vs. San Diego Sept. 4, 1998 5:30 p.m.
No. 4 Virginia at Cal State Fullerton Sept. 6, 1998 8:00 p.m.
THE SERIES WITH SAN DIEGO: The Cavaliers and the Toreros will be squaring off for only the second time this weekend. The only previous meeting came in the 1992 NCAA championship game, when Virginia posted a 2-0 victory.
Against teams from the West Coast Conference, Virginia has an all-time record of 5-1-2 (including marks of 1-0-0 against St. Marys, 3-1-0 vs. San Francisco and 0-0-2 against Santa Clara).
In the first meeting between the schools, the game was scoreless until the 70th minute when Nate Friends put in a rebound after his own shot had been saved to put the Cavaliers up 1-0. Erik Imler headed in a cross by Brad Agoos to provide an insurance goal, while Jeff Causey made three saves and posted a shutout in goal.
THE SERIES WITH CAL STATE FULLERTON: Virginia has faced the Titans only once before, with the teams playing to a 2-2 tie during the 1996 Coca-Cola Classic. Against schools from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the Cavaliers have an all-time record of 3-3-1 (with records of 0-1-0 vs. California, 1-0-0 against Cal-Santa Barbara, 1-0-0 vs. Stanford and 1-2-0 against UCLA).
In the first game between the schools Bill Lanza opened the scoring for the Cavaliers in the 13th minute when he dribbled past two defenders to score from eight yards out, but Cal State Fullerton tied up the score in the 19th minute when Sheldon Thomas headed in a Joe DiGiamarino corner kick. UVa regained the lead only 26 seconds later when Brian West knocked in a pass from Lanza, then the Titans concluded the scoring on an own goal in the 37th minute.
A GRAND OPENING: Virginia owns an all-time record of 32-19-3 on opening day. Over the last 20 seasons the Cavaliers have been particularly successful, posting a 17-2-1 mark. During that span the only UVa losses came against Boston University in 1994 (3-2) and at American in 1997 (3-1). The Cavaliers also tied Creighton 3-3 in their 1991 opener.
This years game against San Diego marks only the third time Virginia has opened the season on a neutral site. On the previous two occasions, the Cavaliers lost to Adelphi 3-1 in 1976 (in a game played at Loyola College) and tied Old Dominion 2-2 in 1977 (in a contest at William & Mary).
CHULIS AND MOORE NAMED HERMANN TROPHY FINALISTS: Senior defender Matt Chulis and sophomore midfielder Jason Moore are among the 15 finalists who have been named for the 32nd annual Hermann Trophy. Chulis and Moore make Virginia one of only four schools to have more than one finalist, along with Duke, Indiana and UCLA. The winner of the Hermann Trophy will be announced on Dec. 12 in Richmond, Va.
If either Chulis or Moore wins the award he would be the fourth player in school history to receive the honor, along with Tony Meola (1989), Claudio Reyna (1993) and Mike Fisher (1995 and 1996).
ALBRIGHT STARS FOR UNDER-20 NATIONAL TEAM: Sophomore forward Chris Albright scored four goals and one assist in three games as the United States under-20 team finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, held in Trinidad in early August. Albright scored two goals in a 5-1 victory over Canada, then added two goals and an assist in a 6-1 win against Trinidad & Tobago. In both contests, Albright scored the first goal of the game. The U.S. played Costa Rica to a 1-1 tie in its other game. By finishing with their 2-0-1 record, the Americans earn a spot in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship, to be played in Nigeria next April.
GELNOVATCH LOOKS TO REACH 50 WINS IN 1998: UVa third year head coach George Gelnovatch has led the Cavaliers to successful campaigns in each of his first two seasons, with Virginia posting an overall record of 35-7-6 for a .792 winning percentage during his tenure. With 15 wins this season, Gelnovatch can become the first mens soccer coach in Atlantic Coast Conference history to record 50 victories in his first three seasons. He also has a chance to become the first ACC coach to reach 50 wins before he has 10 losses. After two years, Gelnovatch already ranks third all-time at UVa in career wins, behind Bruce Arena (295) and Eugene Corrigan (39).
TWO CAVALIERS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Senior defender Matt Chulis and sophomore forward Chris Albright have both been named to the Soccer America preseason All-America teams. Chulis, a first team selection, has earned second team All-America and first team All-ACC honors each of the last two seasons. Albright, a second team selection, was named to the Soccer America National All-Freshman team and the All-ACC Tournament team last season. Virginia was one of only four schools to have more than one player named to the squads.
UNLIKELY HOMECOMING FOR FORENSICH: Senior goalkeeper Mike Forensich will be returning to the field where he played his first two collegiate seasons this weekend. Forensich played at Cal State Fullerton in 1995 and 1996, before transferring to UVa last year. He started 38 games in goal during his two years with the Titans, posting a 1.32 goals against average, 191 saves and nine solo shutouts.
In addition, Forensich was the starting goalkeeper for Cal State Fullerton in its only previous meeting with Virginia, making five saves during the 2-2 tie in 1996. Forensich is currently battling senior Brock Yetso for the Cavaliers starting spot at goalkeeper and may start against the Titans this weekend.
ODONNELL IMPRESSIVE IN OPENER: Junior midfielder Drew ODonnell started on the right flank for the Cavaliers in both exhibition games and scored a goal and an assist in the win over St. Johns. ODonnells goal was the game winner, when he took a pass from Ryan Trout in the right corner and dribbled into the penalty box before his cross deflected off a defender and into the net. He later assisted on Sheldon Barnes goal, feeding Jason Moore at the top left corner of the box before Moores cross was headed in by Barnes. Last season ODonnell played in 19 games, starting four times, and totaled two goals and three assists.
BARNES LOOKS TO BOLSTER OFFENSE: With three of last years top four scorers gone, the Cavaliers knew they would need to find some offensive fire power this season. In the exhibition games, freshman forward Sheldon Barnes showed he is ready to shoulder some of the scoring responsibilities. Barnes scored Virginias second goal against St. Johns, heading in a cross by Jason Moore from eight yards out at the right post. He then netted the opening goal in the Connecticut game, knocking in a cross by Marshall Leonard from 20 yards out in the center. Last year, Barnes was the Florida state Player of the Year, while earning high school All-America honors from both Parade and the NSCAA.
ALBRIGHT REMAINS A TOP SCORING THREAT: Sophomore forward Chris Albright, the Cavaliers top returning scorer, found the net once again in the exhibition game against Connecticut. Albright took a pass from Sheldon Barnes at the top right side of the penalty box before dribbling in and scoring from 14 yards away. Last season, Albright ranked third on the team in scoring with 29 points on 11 goals and seven assists. He was the first UVa freshman to reach double figures in goals in a season since A.J. Wood totaled 13 goals in 1991.
FRANKLIN CONTINUES STRONG ALL-AROUND PLAY: Fifth-year senior Sam Franklin will once again play a key role for the Cavaliers as a defensive midfielder this season. In the exhibition game against Connecticut, Franklin showed he can provide a scoring punch to go along with his defensive responsibilities. Against the Huskies Franklin had an assist on Chris Albrights goal, sliding a pass to Sheldon Barnes before Barnes found Albright for the score. He also scored the Cavaliers final goal, sending the ball to Ryan Trout in the right corner before receiving a return pass and blasting the ball in from 12 yards out on the right side. Last year Franklin played in 21 games for the Cavaliers, totaling seven points on a goal and five assist.
VIRGINIA CLAIMS ACC TOURNAMENT AND REGULAR SEASON TITLES: The Cavaliers won three straight games to win the ACC Tournament last season for the seventh time. In the 11 year history of the ACC Tournament, which began in 1987, Virginia remains the only school to win the title more than once. Overall, the Cavaliers have an all-time record of 17-4-3 in ACC Tournament games, winning titles in 1988, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95 and 97.
Virginia also tied for the 1997 ACC regular season title with Duke and North Carolina State, posting a 3-1-2 (.667) mark in conference games. That marked the 13th time the Cavaliers won the ACC regular season title, but the first time UVa has finished in a tie for first. The only school with more regular season ACC championships than Virginia is Maryland with 17, while Clemson has also won 13 titles. The Cavaliers previous ACC regular season titles came in 1969, 70, 83, 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 91, 92, 95 and 96.
NINE CAVALIERS NAMED TO 1997-98 ACC ACADEMIC HONOR ROLL: The UVa mens soccer team placed nine players on the 1997-98 Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll. The list is comprised of all athletes in the conference who achieve a grade point average of 3.0 or better for the full academic year. Current players Matt Chulis, Mike Feller, Sam Franklin and Billy Petersen were all named to the Honor Roll, along with departed seniors Matt Laughlin, Matt Leonard, Yuri Sagatov, Andriy Shapowal and Joaquin Targhetta. Overall, Virginia had 240 student athletes named to the Honor Roll.
THE DYNASTY: Since 1989, UVa has won five NCAA titles (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994), advanced to at least the NCAA semifinals seven times, and compiled an overall record of 173-25-20 (.839). From the beginning of the 1991 season until now, Virginia has lost just 17 games, going 140-17-12 (.864), including 94-8-5 (.902) against teams from outside the ACC. In the last eight years, UVa has won six ACC Championships and had five National Players of the Year.
THE ALL-AMERICAN TEAM: Once again last season, a number of Cavaliers were selected as All-Americans by the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA). Three UVa players were selected to the teams, tying Virginia with Indiana for the most selections last year. Ben Olsen earned first team All-America honors, Matt Chulis was a second team selection for the second year in a row, and Scott Vermillion earned third team honors. Virginia has now had at least two NSCAA All-America selections each of the last seven years, while having at least one first team choice for the 13 straight season.
CAVALIERS PLACE FOUR ON ALL-ACC TEAMS: Four Virginia players were named to the 1997 All-Atlantic Coast Conference teams, with all four being first team selections. Matt Chulis, Ben Olsen and Scott Vermillion were all named to the first team for the second consecutive season, while Brian West earned All-ACC honors for the first time. Other than Virginia, the only other schools to place more than one player on the first team were Duke and Maryland with two each. Virginia has now had at least four players earn All-ACC honors for seven consecutive seasons.
THE HONOR ROLL: Since 1978, 19 UVa players have been named All-Americans, including 11 first-team selections. Five have left UVa as two-time All-Americans, three as three-time All-Americans and one (Jeff Agoos, 1986-90) as a four-time All-American. In addition, over the past 12 seasons UVa has produced 38 first-team all-ACC selections, 18 more than any other ACC school.
CLEANING HOUSE AT KLOECKNER: The Cavaliers are now in their seventh season of play at Kloeckner Stadium. Virginia has an all-time record of 80-7-4 (.901) at Kloeckner, including a 12-0-2 mark last year. The Cavaliers had a school record home unbeaten streak of 34 games, which were all played at Kloeckner, from Oct. 29, 1994 to Nov. 15, 1996. The $3.4-million facility offers seating for approximately 3,600 fans in the grandstand, while hillside seating is available for another 3,000. Prior to the 1995 season lights were installed, allowing the Cavaliers to play night games. UVa has a perfect 21-0-0 record under the lights.
FREE KICKS: The Cavaliers have an all-time record of 9-4-3 against schools from the state of California. UVa had gone 10 games against California schools without losing (7-0-3) before falling to UCLA in last years NCAA championship game This weekend marks only the fourth time the UVa mens soccer team has travelled to the state of California, with the Cavaliers owning a 4-2-0 record on their previous three trips.
Virginia has won four straight games in the state (downing San Francisco twice and Stanford and St. Marys once each) since falling to San Francisco 2-1 in 1983 When Cal State Fullerton tied Virginia 2-2 in 1996, it ended the Cavaliers 20-game home winning streak. That streak was the third longest in school history and the longest ever at Kloeckner Stadium.