Cavaliers face Tar Heels in ACC battle

Virginia travels to Chapel Hill in search of their first conference victory

Coming off a 1-0 victory Tuesday against Hofstra, Virginia men’s soccer looks to extend its unbeaten streak Friday as it travels to Chapel Hill, N.C. to face No. 4 North Carolina.

The Cavaliers (5-2-3, 0-2-2 ACC) have had much of their success while enjoying a home field advantage. On the road, however, is another story. The Cavaliers sit at 1-2 away this season, with losses to Wake Forest in overtime, and a 6-1 defeat at No. 13 Louisville. Fortunately for Virginia, the schedule dwindles down as the end of the regular season approaches with opponents ranked outside the top 25. But this comes after a tough test against a fourth-ranked Tar Heel team (8-1-1, 3-0-1) that has yet to lose a conference contest. However, the Cavaliers are ready for the challenge.

“I think we feel confident with the tactics that George put in front of us, and I think that going into a big ACC game we all feel dialed in and focused,” sophomore midfielder Julian Cummings said.

Along with attempting to extend their streak, Virginia will try to get their first conference win of the year. Yet, players are trying not to put too much emphasis or pressure on a conference win.

“Our main focus is playing well, and going out and getting the result we want,” Cummings stated.

Last year, the Cavaliers and Tar Heels drew a tie in the regular season finale. And heading into this matchup, it looks to be another defensive battle, as each team has posted shutouts in their last three matches. For Virginia, the focus will be to continue their emphasis on defense, while trying to break through the tough North Carolina backline and put one in the back of the net.

“We are going to be assertive and on our front foot with the understanding that they are also a dangerous team too. There are certain things we will have to pay attention to, but we will go at them like we have been going at teams playing at home,” head coach George Gelnovatch said.

The Cavaliers look to start a winning streak heading into the upcoming tournament play and continue their improvement as the season continues Friday against Tar Heels.

related stories