Coming off a 2-1 win over a tough North Carolina team, the Virginia men's soccer squad takes on American today at 5 p.m. at Klockner Stadium.
The No. 17 Cavaliers (5-2-1, 1-1-1 ACC) will look to add to their five-game unbeaten streak against the Eagles (2-4), while American will look to rebound after a 3-1 loss to Old Dominion.
"I want to win on Wednesday," Virginia Coach George Gelnovatch said. "We have a track record of losing to [American University]. They're a good team. Don't let their record fool you. I'm not even thinking about N.C. State. We've got to get past A.U. first."
Eagle forward Adam Rosen, who led his team in scoring last year as a freshman, fuels American's attack again this year. Fellow forward Nino Marcantonio also provides firepower for the Eagles. Hector Vargas and Mike Oliver anchor the American midfield, while Bobby Brennan and goalkeeper Michael Gorsegner lead the defense.
"It's always a tough game for us," Gelnovatch said. "They're always well-coached and they're a good team. Every time we play them, it's a dog fight."
Cavalier first years Kyle Martino and Ryan Gibbs look to continue their scoring spree after each tallied a goal and an assist in the victory over UNC.
"Kyle is figuring out how to play with the big guys," Gelnovatch said. "He's learning every game when he can dribble and when he can't dribble. He and Totten are figuring each other out and they're becoming more cohesive as a unit."
Third-year Ryan Trout and second-year Marshall Leonard will help out in midfield, while second-year Sheldon Barnes will provide additional punch at forward. All three players add key leadership in a game between two inexperienced teams that could come down to which team commits fewer mistakes.
Virginia's goalkeeper Kyle Singer, a redshirt first year, hopes to continue his stellar play in goal after turning in the best game of his career against Carolina. Singer registered four saves against the Tar Heels.
The young Cavaliers, featuring only one fourth year in midfielder Drew O'Donnell, hope to continue to show steady improvement.
"This team is playing a whole lot better than at the beginning," Gelnovatch said. "The backs have a good understanding of how to play. We're growing as a team. We're very young. It's still early, but we'll be very good."
"This is the same team that we had at the beginning of the season, just more experienced," Gibbs said. "The new guys have begun to step up and understand their responsibilities and roles. We still have a long way to go, but we are going to surprise a lot of people"