PORTLAND, Ore. – Virginia sophomore and Hermann Trophy candidate Tony Tchani (Norfolk, Va.) scored two early goals and the Virginia men’s soccer team cruised to a 3-0 victory over Portland in its opening match at the Portland Nike Invitational Friday night at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex in Portland, Ore.
Virginia (1-0), which had scored one goal in its three preseason exhibition contests, saw its offense flourish in its season-opener. The Cavaliers fired 11 shots (six on goal) and Tchani had the fourth multi-goal game of his career.
Virginia improved to 42-21-3 all-time in season-openers, dating back to the 1941 season, while UVa head coach George Gelnovatch improved his mark to 11-3 in season-openers since his first year at the helm in 1996. Gelnovatch also moved one victory closer to milestone win No. 200 for his career, as Friday’s triumph over Portland improved his all-time record to 196-76-22.
Tchani got Virginia on the board early, gathering a ball at the edge of the penalty box and rocketing a shot over the head of Portland goalkeeper Austin Guerrero. Tchani, a preseason candidate for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, tallied his first goal of the season and the 10th of his career to put the Cavaliers up, 1-0, in the seventh minute.
Tchani scored his second goal of the game in the 15th minute, volleying a bouncing ball in the box past Guerrero and putting the Cavaliers up, 2-0. Tchani’s second goal of the season was the 11th of his career. That score held up for the rest of the first half.
In the second half, freshman Will Bates (Chester, Va.) was inserted into the line-up and he did not waste time making his presence known. In the 48th minute, Bates had a long run down the left side of the field and put a shot away from six yards out on the ground and near post. For Bates, it was the first goal of his young career.
Diego Restrepo posted the shutout for Virginia and played the entire 90 minutes of the match. Restrepo, a redshirt junior and transfer from South Florida, earned his first-ever career start in a Virginia uniform and had a save.
Portland (0-1) goalkeeper Guerrero had three saves in defeat.
Virginia continues action at the Portland Nike Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 6, when it faces the University of Washington at 3 p.m. (eastern time). Live statistics will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
MATCH NOTES: Virginia improved to 42-21-3 all-time in season-openers, dating back to the 1941 season … Cavaliers’ head coach George Gelnovatch improved to 11-3 in season-openers during his tenure and tallied his 196th career victory … Tchani scored multiple goals for the fourth time in his career, as he scored two goals in three games during the 2008 season … redshirt junior and transfer from South Florida Diego Restrepo, junior Mike Volk, sophomore Greg Monaco and freshman Ahkeel Rodney all earned their first career starts … freshman Will Bates scored his first-career goal … Virginia had not played on the West Coast since the 2005 season, when it traveled to the UCSB adidas Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif., and defeated UC Riverside and tied UC Santa Barbara to open the season.