The third-ranked UVA men’s soccer team gets its first taste of game action in 2014 at 7 p.m. Saturday when it plays host to Rutgers in exhibition play at Klöckner Stadium. The friendly also serves as the first home event on the 2014-15 UVa Athletics calendar.
Admission to the match is free.
Virginia boasts a veteran side in 2014, with the 18 returning letterwinners combining for 363 career starts (fourth most in Division I). The Cavaliers went 13-6-5 and reached the NCAA College Cup semifinals last year.
Nine of the returning letterwinners started at least 10 games apiece last season, while goalkeeper Calle Brown (R-Sr., Leesburg, Va.) also is back after starting the final eight matches of the 2013 campaign.
UVa returns 86.6 percent of its goal scoring from 2013 – sixth highest in the nation. Virginia’s leading scorer from 2013, captain Eric Bird (Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.), anchors the Cavaliers in the midfield. A member of the 2014 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Men’s Watch List, Bird was a Third-Team All-American last season after scoring seven goals and recording 19 points. Ten new faces also line the Cavaliers’ roster.
Virginia will play two more home exhibitions, Tuesday (Aug. 19) against St. John’s and next Saturday (Aug. 23) versus No. 9 Georgetown; both matches begin at 7 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium. UVa begins the 2014 regular season on Aug. 29 when it plays host to No. 25 Old Dominion in an 8 p.m. match.