Virginia men's soccer tied Georgetown 1-1 Saturday in its final preseason game.
The Cavaliers played an extra 30-minute period in the exhibition game after the regulation tie, giving UVa's reserves final preseason playing time after the Viriginia starters played the full regulation period.
Coach George Gelnovatch was pleased with the team's performance, particularly the way the squad played in the program's new lineup -- playing five midfielders instead of the standard four from last season.
"The tactics are just a little bit different from the guys, in particular, in the back, and they've applied it and done it very well," Gelnovatch said. "So, and, it''s starting with the three guys -- Wesley Suggs, and Kyler Sullivan, Sheldon Sullivan, Ryan Zinkhan and Scotty Thomsen, in particular. Those five guys and their movements you know, were good and they have been good. Not only today, but in the Blue/Orange game and the Rutgers game. So, so far, so good with that."
Sophomore forward Riggs Lennon, who scored the Cavs' only goal, acknowledges that the existing talent in the midfielders on Virginia's team made the lineup switch an obvious change this preseason.
"We have, we have a very good backline, a very athletic backline with Wes, Sheldon and Kyler -- the two brothers -- and so we thought that we could have them in the back control everything and we could have more of a control to midfield," he said. "So we've been working on formation and tactics with it and that's what we've been doing."
Two of those five starting midfielders -- Suggs and S. Sullivan -- are not only making enough of an impact to change the way Virginia plays the field this year, they're doing it in each of their first playing seasons.
"Actually, we have two or three (guys) right now that're starters that didn't play a minute for us last year -- Wes Shuggs and Shelden Sullivan," senior midfielder Eric Bird said. "Those two guys have stepped up and they've done great for us so far, playing defense and kind of anchoring the team back there."
Gelnovatch noted other players who are making new impacts this preseason.
"(Suggs and Sullivan) didn't play one minute last year, and to play in a game like this, I thought they handled themselves pretty well," he said. "Pablo Aguilar only played a little bit in this game but in the Rutgers game and the Blue/Orange game as a starter, he didn't play one minute last year. So we've still got some guys that redshirted or medical hardshipped that haven't played a whole lot that are doing really well, that'll take a little time. And by the way, Jeff caldwell, the goalkeeper's a freshman too."
Caldwell shared time in the goal with senior Calle Brown and Gelnovatch said that he isn't set on a starting keeper for Virginia's regular season opener.
The Cavs host Old Dominion Friday August, 29 at 8 p.m.