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Aug. 27, 2012

Senior midfielder Ari Dimas will blog about the UVa men’s soccer team on weekly throughout the regular season. Look for his updates every Monday as the season progresses.

After an overtime loss to Georgetown to open the season, Virginia begins its home schedule this weekend when it takes on a pair of Pac-12 foes, California (Friday) and UCLA (Sunday. Both matches are at 7 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium.

Hello again, Cavalier Soccer fans! This past week marked the end of our preseason and the beginning of our official game schedule. We faced a good Georgetown team on Friday night at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md. We opened up last season at the same venue and lost a poor game to West Virginia, so we were motivated to get the win this year.

Unfortunately, we went down a goal very early on and got pretty rattled. We fought back to tie the game and showed some promising signs, but ultimately fell on a tough own goal in overtime. We started nine underclassmen and Georgetown’s experience was apparent; they were a very organized and threatening side and likely will be an NCAA tournament team. A 2-1 loss is not the result that we had hoped for, but we will build on the experience of this first game as we look to next weekend.

We came straight back to Charlottesville after the game. We had a training and recovery session on Saturday morning and were thankfully given Sunday off. After three hard weeks of preseason, a day off is a special treat. Needless to say, our bodies can always use the recovery time. A day off also provides a mental escape from the daily grind and allows us to recharge the batteries. We reported again on Monday refreshed and ready for a good week of training.

The end of preseason means that the school year is upon us! As classes commence this week, we will begin getting into our daily and weekly routines. We train in the mornings and take classes in the afternoons and evenings. The transition from preseason to the official season sees us train less often, among other changes. We go from organized team meals to our own dining schedules, and all down time disappears as we get swamped with class work. This time of the year is especially interesting for our first-year players as they figure out how to deal with the rigors of being college student-athletes.

We open our home schedule this Friday night against California and continue the homestand on Sunday against UCLA. Both teams will be good, and with the quick turnaround between the games, we will need to be ready. Come out to Klöckner next weekend to support us as we defend our stadium! Go Hoos!

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