Men’s soccer: UVA earns No. 12 seed in NCAA Tournament
The UVA men’s soccer team has earned the No. 12 seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, as the postseason brackets were announced Monday by the NCAA. UVA (10-3-5) has a first-round bye and plays at 1 p.m. Sunday(Nov. 20) against either Vermont (13-6-1) or Rider (13-3-3). The Catamounts and Broncs face off Thursday night in Burlington, Vermont, in a first-round contest.
Virginia (10-3-5) was selected to play in the NCAA tournament for the 36th consecutive season, the longest active streak in Division I men’s soccer, and is seeded for the 16th time in the last 23 years. The advancing team from UVA’s pod will play No. 5-seed Stanford, CSU Northridge or Pacific on Sunday, Nov. 27.
In his 21st season as head coach at UVA, George Gelnovatch owns the longest current streak of NCAA tournament appearances of any coach in Division I soccer – a streak that is more than three times as long as any by a current ACC coach.
This is Virginia’s 38th NCAA tournament berth, which is fourth most among all Division I programs. UVA has hosted at least one NCAA tournament match in each of the last 36 years. Virginia is one of nine ACC teams to make the tournament, the most-ever NCAA bids for one conference.
Tickets for the second-round NCAA tournament match are $9 for reserved seats, $7 for adults and $5 for youth, seniors and UVA/Rider/Vermont students (with valid ID). There will be no Faculty/Staff rate for this event.
Tickets may be purchased beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Fans can order tickets online at VirginiaSports.com 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 Klöckner Stadium box office beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Gates will open at 6 p.m.
Free parking will be available in the Emmet/Ivy Garage. Because of the men’s basketball game at John Paul Jones Arena that afternoon, the JPJ, University Hall and McCue lots will be unavailable for soccer parking.
An at-large selection to the tournament, Virginia went 3-2-3 mark in ACC play and finished second in the ACC Coastal Division. The Cavaliers had their 10-match unbeaten streak snapped in the ACC Quarterfinals in a 1-0 loss at Louisville, which handed UVA two of its three losses this year. Edward Opoku and Pablo Aguilar are tied for the team lead with six goals each, while the Cavaliers’ defense, anchored by goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, has recorded nine clean sheets in 18 matches and allowed only three goals in the last 11 games.
Virginia owns a 61-30-5 record all-time in NCAA tournament play, including a 46-18-2 mark at home. UVA has won seven NCAA championships (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2009 and 2014), which is third most in Division I history. UVA has earned host-site status in 37 of its 38 all-time NCAA appearances.
Vermont earned an at-large bid into the tournament after finishing fourth in the America East Conference with a 4-3-0 league mark. The Catamounts fell to top-seeded Albany in the conference semifinals. Vermont is led by three-time first-team All-America East honoree Brian Wright and Bernard Yeboah, who each have 11 goals this year. Wright also owns 10 assists and ranks fifth nationally with 32 total points. UVA and UVM have never played in men’s soccer.
Champions of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the second straight year, Rider was 7-1-2 in conference play and downed Quinnipiac in the MAAC championship game. Clement Bourret led the team with eight goals, while Jose Aguinaga had a team-best nine assists. The Broncs are familiar with UVA, as the sides played in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, with UVA scoring a 2-0 win in Charlottesville. Virginia owns a 2-0 series edge against Rider, with both matches coming in the NCAA tournament.