No. 2 Virginia Opens NCAA Tournament Play Sunday vs. Bucknell
CHARLOTTESVILLE – The No. 2 overall seed and second-ranked Virginia men’s soccer team hosts Bucknell in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament on Sunday. Kick-off from Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., is 1 p.m., and live statistics will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia is making its 29th-straight appearance at the NCAA Tournament, dating back to 1981. That streak is the longest-active in the nation.
Virginia (14-3-3) won the 2009 ACC Championship with an amazing run through the tournament that included shutouts of three ranked opponents (#5 Maryland, #3 Wake Forest and #20 NC State). It was the fourth conference tournament crown for UVa head coach George Gelnovatch, and the Cavaliers’ 10th overall title.
The Cavaliers are unbeaten in their last 11 games, have shut out eight-straight opponents and have not allowed a goal in 837 minutes and 34 seconds of soccer. Already the single-season record holder for shutouts in a season with 12, Diego Restrepo is approaching the scoreless minutes school record as well: 891 minutes and 25 seconds set by Tony Meola in 1988.
Defensively, the Cavaliers lead the nation with a goals-against average of 0.33. Restrepo ranks second in the nation with a goals-against average of 0.336.
Offensively, freshman Will Bates leads the team with eight goals and an assist, followed by Tony Tchani with six goals.
The Cavaliers are out-scoring their opponents, 26-7, in 2009.
UVa holds a 47-25-4 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament, and has won five NCAA Championships (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994).
Virginia’s last appearance in the NCAA College Cup was in 2006 in St. Louis, Mo. The Cavaliers dropped a 4-0 contest to UCLA in the national semifinal.
Last season, Virginia earned a first-round bye and hosted Connecticut in the second round. The Huskies prevailed, 2-0.
The Bison (17-5-0) were the Patriot League Champions and are making their fifth all-time appearance at the NCAA Championships.
Bucknell defeated Princeton, 1-0, on Thursday (Nov. 19) to advance to the second round.
Conor O’Brien leads the team with 11 goals and nine assists, followed by Brendan Burgdorf with nine goals and two assists. O’Brien assisted Burgdorf’s game-winning goal in the first round vs. Princeton.
Goalkeeper Tommy Caso has started 20 games and allowed 16 goals for a 0.81 goals-against average.
The teams have met just once, Nov. 15, 2006. That contest was a second round NCAA Tournament game and Virginia prevailed, 4-0.
The winner would advance to the third round to face the winner of NC State vs. Portland.