Q & A With George Gelnovatch
The Cavalier men’s soccer team opens the ACC portion of its schedule Friday night against NC State. Kick-off from Klckner Stadium is 7 p.m., and UVa is looking for its second-straight victory on its home field. UVa head coach George Gelnovatch previews the NC State contest in this week’s Q &A.
Question: Talk about the importance of opening the ACC schedule within the friendly confines of Klckner Stadium.
Gelnovatch: We are very anxious and excited to start the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. We feel like our schedule up to this point has prepared us for league play and of course it’s always nice to start at home.
Question: You mentioned your schedule up to this point. You’ve already played the No. 2-ranked team in SMU and No. 5-ranked team in St. John’s in preparation for the conference slate.
Gelnovatch: Right, SMU and St. John’s are highly ranked teams and we feel as though we had chances to win both of those games. We did lose those games, but we have a level of confidence that we can play with anybody in the country. We do need to be better at finishing and defending. So in both in the offensive and defensive boxes, we need to improve, but everywhere else we are fantastic. Yes, we have a lot to learn but by no means is anyone down, dejected or lacking confidence.
Question: What do you expect to see from NC State?
Gelnovatch: Well they just took North Carolina to overtime in Chapel Hill, and North Carolina is a very good team. NC State is a really individually talented team and they are capable on any given day of beating anybody. We tied them last year, at their place, so we are prepared for a typical ACC battle on Friday night.
Question: What is one thing about your team that has surprised you this year?
Gelnovatch: The number of scoring opportunities we have created. The quality and quantity of those chances has surprised me. We haven’t capitalized on all of them, but some of that is just a bounce here or a bounce there. With a few breaks and maybe a breakout game we will be more comfortable scoring.
Question: How have your nine freshmen adjusted to the college game?
Gelnovatch: Well I just have to keep reminding myself that we are relying on first-year kids for a lot of minutes. It’s not an easy thing and it’s important that I remember not to push too hard.