June 22, 2012
The Virginia men's soccer team announced its 2012 schedule Friday. The tough slate features seven programs which reached the NCAA tournament last year, including reigning national champion North Carolina and national semifinalist UCLA.
2011 NCAA Tournament participants Duke, Xavier, Maryland, Wake Forest and Boston College also line the Cavaliers' strong schedule.
Virginia went 12-8-1 overall and 4-3-1 in the ACC last season and reached the NCAA tournament for the 31st-consecutive year - the longest current streak in Division I soccer. UVa will bring back 12 letterwinners, including seven starters, from the 2011 team and also welcomes in a decorated class of seven newcomers which was tabbed as the No. 2 national recruiting class by Top Drawer Soccer.
Virginia opens the season Aug. 24 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md., when it takes on Georgetown in the Big East/ACC Challenge. The contest marks the first tilt between the two sides since the 1997 season.
UVa opens its home schedule at Klöckner Stadium with a pair of Pac-12 foes, as the Cavaliers take on California on Aug. 31 and UCLA on Sept. 2. The Bruins went 18-4-1 last year and reached the College Cup semifinals before succumbing to eventual national champion North Carolina in penalty kicks.
A six-match homestand continues with the ACC opener against Duke (Sept. 7). The Blue Devils reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last year and were one of six ACC teams to advance to postseason play.
Virginia's ACC home schedule also includes Clemson (Sept. 28), Wake Forest (Oct. 12) and Virginia Tech (Oct. 19). The Demon Deacons reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last year.
Virginia's ACC road schedule will be stout, beginning Sept. 21 at 2011 NCAA champ North Carolina. UVa also will play at Maryland (Oct. 5), Boston College (Oct. 26) and NC State (Nov. 1). The Terrapins reached the third round of the NCAA tournament last year, while BC advanced to the second round.
In non-conference play, Virginia will travel to VCU on Sept. 25 at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond. UVa's home schedule also consists of non-conference matches with Mount St. Mary's (Sept. 11), Xavier (Sept. 14), Drexel (Sept. 18), High Point (Oct. 9) and Wright State (Oct. 16). Xavier advanced to the NCAA tournament last year after winning its second straight Atlantic 10 championship. Wright State returns 10 starters from its 2011 Horizon League runner-up team.
The ACC Championship starts Nov. 5 with the play-in game between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds, and first-round games will be contested Nov. 6 on the home fields of the top four seeds. The semifinal and championship matches will be contested Nov. 9 and 11, respectively, at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md.
UVa also will play preseason exhibitions at Klöckner Stadium against St. John's (Aug. 14) and Liberty (Aug. 18). Admission to the exhibition games will be free of charge.