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Nov. 12, 2012

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s soccer team has earned an at-large berth into the 2012 NCAA Tournament and will play host to Lafayette at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in a first-round game at Klöckner Stadium. UVa (9-6-4) will be making its 32nd-consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament field, the longest current streak in Division I soccer.

The winner of the match will travel to No. 13 seed New Mexico for a second-round contest at 9 p.m. Sunday in Albuquerque.

“We are excited to be playing in our 32nd straight NCAA tournament,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “We are happy to be at home for our first game and playing in front of our home fans. The first round will be a tough test with Lafayette, the Patriot League champions. With the youth of our team and the toughness of our schedule and the form we’ve been in lately, we are glad to be playing and feel good going into the playoffs.”

Tickets for the first-round game are $9 for reserved seats, $7 for adult general admission and $5 for youth/student/senior citizen general admission. Fans can order tickets online at and by phone through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 800-542-UVA1 (8821) or 434-924-UVA1 (8821). Tickets are also available at the gate beginning one hour prior to the start of play. Gates will open at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Free parking will be available in the University Hall and McCue Center lots as well as the Emmet/Ivy Garage.

UVa owns a 52-27-4 record all-time in NCAA tournament play and is making its 34th appearance in the NCAA field. The Cavaliers have won six NCAA championships (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 2009). This also marks the 32nd straight year that Virginia will play host to an NCAA tournament game; UVa has earned host-site status in 33 of its 34 all-time NCAA appearances.

Virginia is unbeaten in its last six matches entering the NCAA tournament, including four straight contests away from home. The Cavaliers reached the semifinals of the ACC tournament, moving past Wake Forest in a penalty-kick shootout before being eliminated by North Carolina in a shootout. Freshman defender Zach Carroll (Grand Blanc, Mich.) was named to the ACC All-Tournament Team. First-Team All-ACC honoree Will Bates (Sr., Chester, Va.) leads Virginia with 11 goals and 23 points; he ranks seventh all-time in goals at Virginia.

The young Cavaliers grew up quickly this year through one of the nation’s toughest schedules. UVa regularly features a starting lineup with six freshmen and nine underclassmen, but went 4-1-3 in its final eight matches and finished the season ranked No. 15 in the RPI.

Champions of the Patriot League, Lafayette (9-7-4, 3-1-3 Patriot League) is making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2005. Lafayette is riding a seven-match unbeaten streak entering NCAAs. The second-seeded Leopards upset top-seeded American, 2-0, Sunday to claim the Patriot League’s automatic berth. Goals by Kyle Scharfenberg and Peter Adubato led the offense, while tournament MVP Nathan McDonald earned the shutout in goal. Alec Golini leads the Leopards with seven goals and 15 points in 2012.

Virginia and Lafayette will be meeting for the first time in men’s soccer.

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