It's been 3 and a half months since the Hoyas and Cavaliers drew 1-1 at an exhibition game in Charlottesville. Since then, both teams have performed well, but the lack of both regular season and conference tournament championships were surely disappointing for both teams (more so perhaps for the Hoyas). Tell us how you would grade the Cavaliers men's soccer season so far, and whether anything less than a College Cup appearance could be considered a success.
Considering the Hoos began the season #3 in the nation, the season has probably been a bit of a disappointment. This is even moreso when you look at the results. So many 1-0 wins. I know goals are tough to come by in soccer, but some of these games were against lesser opponents, and the Hoos should be able to score multiple goals. The defense, however, has been stout all season long. Entering the season, Wahoo fans may have been expecting a return trip to the College Cup, however they way the season has played out, I think most Wahoo fans are happy with how far the team has come.
I mentioned the potential lack of a College Cup appearance for the Cavaliers in my previous question because that is exactly what the Hoyas will try to ensure this Saturday. What do you think Virginia needs to do to advance? Who are the key UVA players the Hoyas need to watch out for? Please tell me Morgan Brian cannot fill in as a ringer...
So my assessments of the team are based on watching on game on ESPNU and reading game recaps and seeing highlights. I don't live in Charlottesville and I haven't been to any games this year. So, I'll take a shot, but I'm not an expert on this team.
Senior Eric Byrd leads the team in goals, but the best attacker may be Nicko Corriveau. The best players are really the defenders and GK Calle Brown (also a senior). Brown has allowed just 14 goals in 18 games, while making 65 saves. He's solid.
It's looking like rainy weather will be an issue for our Elite 8 encounter. Both teams would seem to prefer flowing, possession-oriented play. What adjustments do you think the Cavaliers need to make for soggy conditions? Just like they did to tie that exhibition game vs the Cavaliers in August (also played in wet conditions), and despite the lack of regular season evidence, our players now specialize in late game aerial heroics, which may be best suited for the expected English-like weather. Any thoughts on what the Hoyas need to do to beat UVA?
I don't think the Hoos would really make any big adjustments due to the weather. A sloppy, wet game probably suits them. They tend to play ugly. A fast-paced would likely not end well for them. So, that's what Georgetown needs to do. Keep the game moving, especially in their attacking third.
Coach Gelnovatch hasn't quite reached the heights of his mentor and former coach Bruce Arena at UVA, but he's no slouch. Do you think he may become a target for an MLS head coaching opening, College Cup appearance or not?
I can't see Coach Gelnovatch going anywhere. Counting his time as a student, he's basically been at UVA for 30 years. He's done other things, most notably as an assistant coach for the USMNT under Arena. I suspect he'll retire from UVA when he's done coaching. Which hopefully isn't for a long time.
How do you expect this game will play out? Care to hazard a guess on the final score?
As I said, I think the rain helps the Hoos out. It'll be low scoring, and I wouldn't be the least bit surpised to see another overtime match or even PKs. PKs are a crapshoot so I'm not even going to try to predict what would happen in that case, although I like our chances with Brown. The Hoos have won a ton of 1-0 games this year, so I'll say that happens again. 1-0 in overtime.
CH NOTE: We'll agree to disagree on that last one.