Gelnovatch and Bates Named Nation's Best by Soccer America
CHARLOTTESVILLE – Soccer America released its postseason awards Friday, and Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch was named Men’s Coach of the Year, while forward Will Bates was named Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Diego Restrepo and Tony Tchani were named Soccer America MVPs.
Gelnovatch, who wrapped up his 14th season as head coach of the Cavaliers in 2009, led UVa to its first NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship since 1994 and its sixth overall. He earned his 200th-career victory during the regular season, and led Virginia to its fourth ACC Tournament title during his tenure.
Bates, meanwhile, led the Cavaliers with 12 goals and an assist in 2009. He was a member of the ACC’s All-Freshman team and also earned All-South Atlantic Region honors from the NSCAA. He is the first Virginia rookie to be named Soccer America’s Freshman of the Year since Claudio Reyna in 1991.
Restrepo was named a first team MVP by Soccer America. The MVPs were introduced in 1976 and honor the players who have had the biggest impact on their team’s success regardless of position. Restrepo was a first team All-America by College Soccer News and finished 2009 leading the nation in save percentage (89 percent) and ranking second in the nation in goals-against average (.30). He set new school records for shutouts in a season (15), consecutive shutouts (11) and scoreless minutes (1176:51). A third team All-South Atlantic region selection by the NSCAA, Restrepo was the NCAA Championship’s Defensive MVP and the MVP of the ACC Tournament.
Tchani was named a second team MVP. A first team All-America by the NSCAA and College Soccer News, Tchani scored eight goals and had four assists this season. He was also an ACC All-Tournament team member, a second team All-ACC honoree, an NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team member and the 2008 ACC Freshman of the Year.