After a typically difficult ACC schedule and a season of teetering in and out of the top 25 polling, the Cavaliers (11-6-1, 4-3-1) have finished off regular season play and are ready for more pressing business. It had been a tough week or two for the team, as they failed to convert against the lowly Hokies, playing to a scoreless tie, dropped a 2-1 match at home to BC, and lost star Will Bates for the season because of a torn ACL. However, the Hoos wouldn't let that ruin their senior night, as they jumped to a fast start and never looked back in a 4-1 pounding of the Wolfpack.
Brian Ownby put the Hoos on the board in the 7th minute, starting the scoring off on a cross from Ryan Zinkhan. The squad put up a barrage of shots in the next 20 minutes; three ended up in the net before NC State scored minutes later to close the score to the eventual final of 4-1. Ownby added 2 assists, and Brian "Cobi" Span and Zinkhan each had a goal and an assist.
Before the game, UVA honored five 4th years: Brian Ownby, Ari Dimas, Sean Hiller, Hunter Jumper, and Felipe Liberos, who played in their last regular season game at Klockner.
As the 4th seed in the conference, Virginia will get to host an ACC quarterfinal game tomorrow night at 7PM against 5th-seeded Wake Forest, who also finished 4-3-1 in the ACC. While the loss of Bates will hurt, the conference is filled with parity - this season, we've lost to the last place team in the conference and beaten the 2nd and 3rd seeded teams. In a mid-October matchup in Winston-Salem, the Hoos fell behind 3-0 early and went on to lose 4-3 behind a hat trick from, you guessed it, Will Bates. UVA beat Wake Forest in last year's ACC quarterfinal, 1-0.
With a win, the Hoos will head to the semifinals in Cary, NC, the same field where they took home the NCAA Championship two years ago. Looking further ahead, NCAA berths will be announced on November 14th; if Virginia doesn't claim the ACC's auto-bid, they are expected to easily claim an at-large berth to the 48-team tournament.