Virginia Men's Soccer Ranked No. 2 In Preseason Coaches? Poll
CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia men’s soccer team is ranked No. 2 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll, the organization announced Tuesday (Aug. 10).
Virginia earned its highest preseason ranking since the 2002 season when it also checked in at No. 2. The Cavaliers won the 2009 NCAA Championship, their sixth overall and first since 1994, captured the 2009 ACC Tournament title and finished the season with a 19-3-3 overall record.
Akron was tabbed the preseason No. 1 team. The Zips were the NCAA runner-up in 2009 and finished with a 23-1-1 record after falling to the Cavaliers in penalty kicks in the title game.
Three out of the top four spots in the poll were occupied by teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, as Wake Forest checked in at No. 3 followed by North Carolina at No. 4.
Maryland (No. 6), Duke (No. 11) and Boston College (No. 12) were the league’s other ranked teams and NC State received votes.
Cavaliers’ head coach George Gelnovatch returns for his 15th season in 2010 and last year was tabbed the Soccer America National Coach of the Year. A former Cavalier All-American and assistant coach, Gelnovatch has led UVa to the 2009 NCAA Championship, three NCAA College Cup appearances, four ACC Tournament titles and two regular-season ACC Championships during his tenure as head coach. Last season, Gelnovatch passed the 200-win plateau for his career and enters 2010 with a career mark of 214-79-25.
Cavalier captains Greg Monaco and Mike Volk, along with returning first team All-American goalkeeper Diego Restrepo and Hunter Jumper, return on defense for UVa. Last season, the Cavaliers allowed just eight goals and Restrepo set school records for shutouts in a season (15), consecutive shutouts (11) and consecutive scoreless minutes (1176:51).
Offensively, Virginia returns seven players that tallied at least two points in 2009, including leading goal-scorer and Soccer America National Freshman of the Year Will Bates. Bates returns for his sophomore season after registering a team-high 12 goals and an assist.
Junior Brian Ownby is also returning after scoring multiple goals in 2009, as he scored three goals and had an assist in 15 appearances last season. Jumper (one goal, four assists), Monaco (one goal, one assist), Ari Dimas (one goal, one assist), and Volk (one goal) also all contributed to the Cavalier scoring.
The Cavaliers play three preseason exhibition contests, beginning on Aug. 20 vs. VCU at Klöckner Stadium. Kick-off is 4 p.m. The regular-season opener is Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. against UAB at Klöckner.
Fans can order season tickets online, in person or by telephone. To purchase tickets online, visit VirginiaSports.com. In-person sales can be made at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).
The 2010 All-Soccer Reserved Season Pass (reserved seats for all home men’s and women’s games) is $90. The Men’s Soccer Reserved Season Pass is $50. General Admission All-Soccer Season Passes are also available for adults ($40), Youth/Senior ($30) and Faculty/Staff ($30).
NSCAA Preseason Poll – Aug. 10, 2010
Rank School Prev. W-L-T
1 Akron 2 23-1-1
2 Virginia 1 19-3-3
3 Wake Forest 3 17-4-3
4 North Carolina 4 16-2-4
5 UCLA 5 12-4-4
6 Maryland 6 15-6-2
7 Tulsa 7 15-5-2
8 UC Santa Barbara 10 17-5-2
9 Northwestern 11 11-5-4
10 Harvard 9 14-4-1
11 Duke 12 14-7-0
12 Boston College 15 14-9-0
13 Stanford 14 12-6-2
14 Drake 8 16-7-2
15 Monmouth 13 18-2-2
16 South Florida 18 14-4-3
17 St. John’s 21 9-3-9
18 Ohio State 19 12-5-4
19 Portland 17 12-6-5
20 Louisville 16 13-3-4
20 Indiana 20 12-10-1
22 Connecticut 24 11-4-4
23 UNC-Wilmington 22 14-3-5
24 Michigan State RV 11-8-2
25 UC Irvine 25 15-7-0
(Final 2009 Record and Ranking shown)
Also receiving votes: NC State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Charlotte, Wisconsin-Green Bay