CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 5 Virginia (0-0-0) begins its 2020 season on Friday night (Oct. 9) when it hosts Louisville (1-2-0, 1-0-0 ACC) at Klöckner Stadium. The contest is slated for a 7 p.m. start and will be broadcast live on ACCNX.
Due to health and safety considerations in addition to the current guidelines established for sports venues by the Commonwealth of Virginia, attendance at UVA home competitions is limited to family of student-athletes and each team’s coaching staff until further notice. There is no public admission to these events and all tailgating in University parking lots is prohibited.
ACCNX streams via the ESPN App and is available to authenticated subscribers of ACC Network. Information on cable providers that currently carry ACC Network can be found on GetACCN.com. Direct links for the live stream and in-game live stats are available on VirginiaSports.com. Fans can also follow the Virginia men’s soccer official twitter account (@UVAMenSoccer) for in-game updates.
- Of the 11 ACC teams participating this Fall, Virginia and Virginia Tech are the only two programs yet to play an ACC regular season match in 2020.
- The Cavaliers come into Friday with a six-game win streak against ACC opponents dating back to last season. The streak, that includes the 2019 postseason, began with a 2-0 win over then-No. 25 Virginia Tech on Oct. 25, 2019.
- Virginia comes into the match as the No. 5 team in the country according to the latest United Soccer Coaches poll.
- 2020 will be the 77th year of soccer at Virginia and 25th under the direction of head coach George Gelnovatch.
- A win on Friday night against Louisville would be the 300th overall win for the Cavaliers at Klöckner Stadium.
- Virginia will be playing its seventh-straight season opener at home.
- Under Gelnovatch, Virginia is 18-6 in season openers. The Cavaliers have won six-consecutive season openers, four of them coming against nationally ranked opponents.
- The last time Virginia opened its season in October was 1974 (Oct. 1) and the latest a Virginia soccer season has started was in 1946 on Oct. 19, a 3-0 loss in the first of 86 meetings against North Carolina.
THE KLÖCKNER ADVANTAGE
- Virginia has won 81 percent (299-59-27) of its matches at Klöckner Stadium since its opening in 1992.
- Virginia went 15-1 at Klöckner Stadium in 2019, the most home wins of any team in the country and tied for the most in school history (1995).
- Klöckner Stadium has hosted an NCAA Tournament match in all 28 years of its existence.
- The Cavaliers are 40-12-2 (.759) at Klöckner in the NCAA postseason.
- Louisville holds a 3-2-1 edge in the all-time series that began in 2013.
- The Cavaliers have won the last two meetings at Klöckner Stadium, including a 2-0 win against the Cardinals on Oct. 4, 2019.
- The then-No. 1 Cavaliers improved to 10-0 last season and 4-0 in the ACC for the first time in 2008 after last year’s clean sheet.
- Louisville goalkeeper Jake Gelnovatch is the son of Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch. Jake has been the Cardinals starting goalkeeper against Virginia in the last two meetings (2017 & 2019).
QUARTER CENTURY AT THE HELM
- George Gelnovatch enters his 25th season as head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers, a tenure that is marked by two National Championships, five ACC Championships, six College Cup appearances and 24 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
- Gelnovatch is one of nine active coaches that have 24 or more years at only one school and his 338 career wins are the most among the group.
- He currently stands as the ACC’s longest tenured coach and ranks third all-time amongst the league’s coaches in career victories.
- Gelnovatch is the first coach in NCAA Division I soccer to lead 20-straight teams to the NCAA Tournament.
- Gelnovatch has won 10 or more games in all 24 seasons as head coach. Only Maryland’s Sasho Cirovski has more consecutive 10+ win seasons (25) among active NCAA head coaches.
- In the first United Soccer Coaches poll of the fall (Sept. 22), Virginia was ranked No. 3 in the country. Despite not playing a match, the Cavaliers have slipped to No. 5 in the last two polls.
- Virginia has been ranked in the top five in the United Soccer Coaches Poll in all but one week since Sept. 17, 2019
- Virginia opened the season as the nation’s top team in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Power Rankings and have dropped to No. 4 in this week’s rankings.
- The Cavaliers return 10 student-athletes from the 2019 ACC Championship and NCAA Runner-Up team. Of those 10 returners eight saw action in over 16 games.
- The 10 returners accounted for 23 of the team’s 46 goals last season.
- Virginia lost four underclassman – Joe Bell (Viking FK), Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution) and Daniel Steedman (Atlanta United 2) – depart for the professional ranks.
- According to TopDrawerSoccer.com, the Cavaliers boasted the No. 8 recruiting class, comprised of eight true freshmen, three transfers and two graduate transfers.
- Serving as a co-captain alongside sophomore Andreas Ueland, Nathaniel Crofts returns for his senior season as the team’s top returning scorer from a year ago (6g, 3a). He was part of the 11-man Preseason ACC Players to Watch List.
- Ueland, a freshman All-American after playing every minute of every match as a true freshman was one of eight ACC underclassmen identified as a top underclassman prospect by TopDrawerSoccer.com
- Goalkeeper Colin Shutler earned Preseason First Team All-America honors from College Soccer News after a consensus First Team All-America nod in 2019. He returns to UVA as a graduate student in 2020 and enters the year with the lowest career goals against average (0.53) among active NCAA goalkeepers.