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CHARLOTTESVILLE – The second-ranked Virginia men’s soccer team opened its preseason schedule with a 1-0 exhibition victory over VCU Friday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium. Sophomore midfielder Ari Dimas (Chesapeake, Va.) scored the game-winning goal for Virginia.

“We played three 30-minute periods so we got a few more opportunities to talk to the team during the exhibition,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “I saw some positive things and I keep reminding myself that we are three days into the season.”

After a scoreless first 30-minute period, Dimas one-timed a cross from classmate Ahkeel Rodney (Elmont, N.Y.) and found the left side of the net to provide the difference for the Cavaliers in the 54th minute.

“We wanted to have a strong showing today,” Dimas said. “Today was a good beginning to a new season.”

Sophomores Will Bates (Chester, Va.) and Sean Murnane (Centreville, Va.) also had good scoring chances for the ‘Hoos. Bates had two shots, including one from close-range in the 32nd minute that was saved by VCU goalkeeper Josh Pantazelos. Murnane had a shot hit the crossbar in the 35th minute.

Pantazelos finished with two saves in goal for the Rams, while UVa goalkeeper Diego Restrepo was untested as none of VCU’s five shots were on goal.

The Cavaliers held a 6-5 advantage in shots and a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Virginia hosts VMI in its next preseason exhibition on Monday (Aug. 23). Kick-off from Klöckner Stadium is 7 p.m. Tickets for Monday’s exhibition game are $4 for adults and $2 for youth/seniors. Reserved seats for the game are available for $6.

The regular season begins on Sept. 3 – a full day of soccer for fans. Virginia Tech and St. John’s square off in men’ soccer action at Klöckner Stadium at 2:30 p.m., followed by the Virginia women’s soccer team vs. Richmond at 5:30 p.m. The nightcap will be the ‘Hoos vs. UAB at 8 p.m.

Fans can order 2010 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).

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