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Men’s soccer: Virginia earns 35th straight NCAA Tournament berth

uva-logo-new2The Virginia men’s soccer team earned its 35th-consecutive NCAA tournament selection Monday when the Cavaliers were chosen as part of the 48-team field for the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Virginia (9-4-3) plays host to Rider (14-5-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 19) in a first-round match at Klöckner Stadium.

The advancing team from the Thursday match plays No. 10 seed Maryland on Sunday in College Park in the round of 32.

Virginia’s streak of NCAA tournament appearances is the longest current stretch in Division I men’s soccer. In his 20th season as head coach at UVA, George Gelnovatch boasts 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 37th 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 35 years.

Tickets for the Thursday match 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 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. Thursday. Gates will open at 6 p.m.

Parking is $5 and will be available in the University Hall, John Paul Jones Arena and McCue Center lots. Free parking will be available in the Emmet/Ivy Garage.

UVA tied for second place in the ACC Coastal Division with a 4-2-2 mark. Midfielders Jake Rozhansky (So., Germantown, Md.) and Todd Wharton (Sr., Glen Allen, Va.) were named to the All-ACC second team, while goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell (So., Todd, N.C.) and forward Edward Opoku (Fr., Rye, N.Y.) earned third-team honors. Opoku was joined by Derrick Etienne (Fr., Paterson, N.J.) on the all-freshman team.

Rider earned an automatic bid and its third NCAA berth in program history after winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament championship, ousting top-seeded Monmouth, 3-2, in the final. The Broncs boast a high-powered offense, with four players scoring six goals or more and the team totaling 42 scores on the year (11th most nationally). Christian Flath and Elliott Otmani each have scored eight goals. Rider is 9-1-1 since the start of October and owns a 9-2 record away from home in 2015.

Rider and Virginia have met just once previously, a 3-0 UVA win on Nov. 22, 1998, at Klöckner Stadium in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Virginia owns a 60-29-5 record all-time in NCAA tournament play, including a 45-18-2 mark at home. The reigning NCAA champions, 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 36 of its 37 all-time NCAA appearances.


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