Soccer Teams Open With Wins
Aug 25, 2006
A hazy night at Klockner Stadium didn't cloud a pair of season-opening wins for the Virginia soccer teams. The No. 3 men's team dispatched a resolute Davidson club in the evening contest, 1-0, which followed a decisive 6-0 victory for the No. 7 women against Syracuse.
With an array of experienced and talented players on the roster, the one-goal win for the men may not have been as dominant as the 3,219 fans at Klockner Stadium expected. Still, UVa men's coach George Gelnovatch knows the first victory of the season is always an important one.
“It's always good to win. Davidson is a good team that's tough to break down. They're very organized and athletic, especially on defense,” Gelnovatch said. “We were happy to get that first goal. I think what would have taken the wind out of the sails in this game is getting the second one. We had some pretty good chances of getting the second goal and that would have deflated this game. Overall, I think we managed the game pretty well. We were never just kind of hanging on; I don't think they had a ton of chances, but I would have liked to get that second goal.”
The men's team produced a variety of attacks and cornerkicks, but couldn't pour in the goals like the women did against an overmatched Syracuse. Davidson did a solid job of crowding the Hoos in their attacking third, which prevented the hosts from producing unchallenged chances.
The congestion eventually cost the Wildcats, though. With less than 25 minutes remaining in the first half, UVa freshman midfielder Jonathan Villanueva produced an attacking run from the left side of the field. Villanueva, who already became a crowd favorite in his first game because of some dazzling footwork, dribbled into the box and drew a foul against a Davidson defender.
“That was a pre-game speech to me basically from the coaches, to try to run at them as much as possible and try to get some fouls,” Villanueva said. “When I started a run at him, I just kept going and eventually I got in the box and he touched me so I just kind of fell.”
The whistle brought a penalty kick for the Cavaliers and Yannick Reyering took advantage of the opportunity. Last year's leading scorer with 14 goals, Reyering deposited the ball in the bottom right of the net after a stutter step got the keeper moving.
“Those kind of little plays that draw a penalty kick like that are special plays. If [Johnathan] can run at people at the box, he's either going to score, create a good chance, or create a PK like that,” Gelnovatch said. “Yannick's our best penalty kicker so when he's in the game and we have a penalty kick, he takes it.”
Virginia women's coach Steve Swanson also was happy to get the season's first win out of the way, but he says the team knows it is the just the first step of the season.
“In many ways, we still have a very young team and they're growing. They have a very good mentality. They know where they're at and I don't think they're heads are getting too full of themselves [with a six-goal victory],” Swanson said. “I think the fact we got some goals tonight is a good thing and it should give us some confidence as we move forward.”
After not scoring a goal in two preseason games, the women were dominant against Syracuse. In producing six goals, the Cavaliers outshot the visiting Orange, 19-0 (12-0 on goal). Eight different players contributed to the scoring act, led by two goals apiece from Kara Frederick and Caitlin Miskel, who also had an assist.
The other two goals came from Jen Redmond, who had an assist as well, and Nikki Lieb, who scored in her first game back on the soccer team after focusing on lacrosse for four years. In the assists column, Kelly Quinn, Sarah Curtis, Alex Singer, and Amanda Stewart all had one.
Swanson wasn't surprised with Miskel's debut. And not really because of her glowing high school statistics either - the two-tie Gatorade Florida Player of the Year had 105 goals and 89 assists in her high school career.
“Caitlin has a great mentality, great feet, and a really solid soccer mind. She sees the field really well and she doesn't look like a first year out there because of the savvy she has on the ball,” Swanson said. “I think it was a good start for her, but I don't think there was anybody out there surprised by that. She's done a great job right from the very beginning of the preseason.”
The men and women return to action at Klockner Stadium on Sunday. The women are up first with a 5 p.m. game against Liberty, while the men take on Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m.
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