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No. 13 men's soccer faces struggling Pack team

Improving their record to 6-2-1 by a 2-0 win over American Wednesday, the No. 13 men's soccer team will travel to face N.C. State Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Cavs will have to adjust to the fact that they are playing away, since they have played their last five games in Charlottesville. Cav coach George Gelnovatch said it will prepare the team for away games that are scheduled in the future.

"This is going to be our first away game in awhile, so that will definitely be a factor," Gelnovatch said. "It's been nice playing at home but we have several away games ahead of us so we need to be prepared to handle that."

Third-year forward Ryan Trout said he feels there is an advantage to playing away, because of the opportunity it provides to prepare for the game without disruption. Trout also said the team will be able to adjust easily to the change.

"It will be a change but we'll get used to it," he said. "It's actually better to be in a hotel room because you can really concentrate and prepare mentally for the game. There aren't as many distractions when you're away."

The Cavs beat American with goals scored by first-year forward Ryan Gibbs and Trout. The defense stepped it up, allowing only three Eagle shots the entire game. Gibbs and Trout are the leading scorers for Virginia with six goals each. Second-year goalkeeper Kyle Singer maintained the shutout, his second of the season.

Offensively, second-year midfielder Marshall Leonard and second-year forward Sheldon Barnes add to the scoring abilities of Trout and Gibbs.

Virginia's defense also has been progressing, not only by preventing goals by American, but also by keeping UNC from scoring for 77 minutes when they competed last Saturday.

Singer also performed well against Carolina, achieving four saves and capturing what Gelnovatch labeled his best game yet.

The Cavs are also coming off a three game home winning streak, which could boost their confidence and give them a positive attitude towards the upcoming game.

But the Wolfpack is steadily advancing as well, coming off a tie and win, with a record of 3-2-2.

Still the Cavaliers remain optimistic about the upcoming game, and are secure in their ability. Trout said he feels their approach to the games should be simple.

"We just have to be ready and play our best," he said. "If we do that then we have a chance to win against anybody."

The Wolfpack offense is led by forwards Sebastian Rodriguez and Nick Olivencia, who were last year's leading scorers, and midfielder Shaker Asad who was named All-ACC second team and team MVP last year.

N.C. State's defense contains the most experience, with defenders Jeremy Ballenger and Mike Smith, and goalkeeper Eric Handley, who had 91 saves last year.

The Cavs are looking to step up their overall play in the upcoming game.

"We're not going to focus on anything special," Gelnovatch said. "We'll just work on cleaning some things up and improving our play overall."