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Dec. 1, 2006

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The Virginia men’s soccer program waited nine years to return to the College Cup, but Mother Nature added one extra day to the wait. The storm dubbed “Ice Storm 2006” by the local media postponed the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament from Friday to Saturday at the Robert R. Hermann Stadium on the campus of Saint Louis.

“We were prepared to play tonight, but the NCAA had the best interest of the student-athletes in mind,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “The weather was not ideal for such a big event as the College Cup. Our guys had the opportunity to work out in a great facility as we remained focus for our NCAA semifinal match. While it may have been disappointing not to have played tonight, we’ll be ready to play Saturday just like the other teams will be.”

The storm gave the team an extra day to prepare, so the Cavaliers fit in a training session Friday afternoon. With the game field at SLU unavailable, the team went inside to practice; to the Edward Jones Dome, home of the NFL St. Louis Rams. Although they needed several trash cans to create some makeshift goals, the team seemed to enjoy the experience of training in a 70,000 seat stadium.

“It was an awesome experience and great way to have my last college practice,” senior forward Adam Cristman said about practicing in the dome. “It was a lot of fun and the team enjoyed it, but most importantly, we worked out and stayed focus for the College Cup. We were a little disappointed about not playing tonight, but the weather affected a lot involved. We’ll be just as ready to play Saturday as we were today.”

The weather may have delayed their semifinal match against UCLA, but it didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for being at the College Cup. The Virginia-UCLA semifinal match is set for noon ET (11 a.m. CT) Saturday, and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. The winner will meet the winner of the Wake Forest-UC Santa Barbara semifinal for the national championship Sunday, at 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT). The national championship game will also be broadcast live on ESPN2.

– Steve Kirkland/UVa Media Relations-

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