Men’s soccer: No. 4 Virginia heads to No. 14 Notre Dame Friday

uva soccerThe No. 4 Virginia men’s soccer team travels to No. 14 Notre Dame at 7 p.m. Friday for an ACC match. The marquee game pits the two most recent NCAA soccer champions, Notre Dame in 2013 and Virginia in 2014.

Records
Virginia: 5-0-2 (1-0-1 ACC)
Notre Dame: 5-2-1 (1-1-0 ACC)

Broadcast Information
ESPN3 will have the live broadcast online. Links to the live video broadcast and statistics (GameTracker) can be found at VirginiaSports.com.

Virginia-Notre Dame Series
ACC foes for just three seasons now, Virginia and Notre Dame already have developed a solid rivalry. Virginia is 5-1-2 all-time against Notre Dame, including a 2-1-2 mark since the Fighting Irish joined the ACC in 2013.

The sides met three times in 2014, splitting the matches, 1-1-1. The teams tied in Charlottesville last September before Notre Dame scored a 3-0 win in South Bend in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. UVa then bounced the No. 1-seeded Irish from the NCAA tournament with a 1-0 road win in the round of 16.

Defense Works to Tighten Up
While Virginia’s defense has had a few lapses in its first month of the season, the Cavaliers have started to organize better and gel with a new back line. UVa has recorded three straight clean sheets and has not conceded in 303 minutes, 35 seconds. The Cavaliers have been without their starting left and right backs, Scott Thomsen and Marcus Salandy-Defour, for much of the season.

Virginia Tops VCU, 1-0
Freshman Derrick Etienne scored in the 84th minute to propel Virginia to a 1-0 win over VCU on Monday evening in Richmond, Va.. Etienne’s highlight-reel goal was the first score of his college career and kept Virginia unbeaten on the season at 5-0-2. UVa is unbeaten in its last 12 matches, dating to the start of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, and is unbeaten through seven matches for the first time since starting the 2006 season with an 8-0 mark.

VCU out-shot Virginia, 16-11, but put just one of its shots on frame.

Etienne did all the work in netting his first college goal in the 84th minute. After taking the ball near the touch line at midfield, he charged downfield and through several VCU defenders into the box before chipping it over the charging Gardan and inside the far post for the incredible score.

Virginia Freshmen Make Immediate Impact
While five Virginia freshmen have played during UVa’s first seven matches, Jean-Christophe Koffi was the first to break the scoring column with his goal against JMU. Malcolm Dixon has started four of seven matches at right back, while Derrick Etienne, Edward Opoku and Koffi all have contributed significant minutes. Wesley Wade also has seen time off the bench in a pair of matches. The quintet is part of the Cavaliers’ incoming recruiting class that was tabbed the No. 2 best class nationally.

Noting Notre Dame
Coming off an impressive 4-0 road win over Michigan State on Tuesday, Notre Dame returns to its home pitch, where the Fighting Irish are 3-1 this year. Notre Dame has allowed just five goals this year, with four coming in its loss at North Carolina last Friday. Jon Gallagher leads the team with five goals, while reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year Patrick Hodan also is back this year for the Fighting Irish.

Up Next: George Washington
The Cavaliers start a three-game homestand next Tuesday (Sept. 29) with a 7 p.m. match against George Washington at Klöckner Stadium. UVa then plays host to Louisville on Friday, Oct. 2, and Portland on Monday, Oct. 5.

         
 

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