Over the next two weeks, Streaking the Lawn will be looking back at the seasons of all 20 UVA athletics teams. The 2010-2011 year had its share of ups and downs, so we'll talk about those and remember a great year of Wahoo sports. Feel free to join in on the discussion with your thoughts on the year.
We'll start off with Men's Soccer
Record: 11-6-3 (loss vs. ODU in NCAA Tournament first round
MVP: Will Bates
Bates led the Hoos in goals and assists and was vital as a source of stability and leadership for a young Cavalier team. (Runner-ups: Ari Dimas, Diego Restrepo)
Overview: Coming off a magical 2009 run, culminating in a national championship, UVA started the season again highly ranked (#2). However, there were some missing pieces, notably Tony Tchani and Ross LaBauex, key parts of that 2009 squad. The Hoos appeared to get off to a strong start, going 6-1-1 and 9-2-2. This may have been mainly the product of a weak out-of-conference schedule, as UVA struggled to pull out games against quality ACC teams down the stretch, and the lack of experience and speed from the previous year showed. The team only won 2 of its final 7 games, culminating with a disappointing first-round NCAA loss to ODU.
(More after the jump)
Season Highlight(s): Coming into the season number 2 and rolling over the competition early in the year, notably defeating Alabama A&M 10-0. Not sure about listing a win over the dismal Hokies as a highlight, but Greg Monaco's goal early in OT to defeat VT 2-1 in Charlottesville was certainly a relief and a great moment.
Season Lowpoint(s): Coming off the 2009 tournament run, the 1-0 home loss against ODU to end the season was a disappointment (and the game itself was heartbreaking, as UVA appeared to outplay the Monarchs). Losing twice to the Terps was also a bummer; next year's team will surely be looking to avenge those games.
Future Outlook: Unlike the previous year, the nucleus of the team remains intact; I'd expect a good amount of growth, as the team learns from the string of close defeats that haunted it this season. A loss that will hurt is goalie Diego Restrepo (though he had a bit of a a falloff from his inhuman string of shutouts leading up to the 2009 NCAA Championship). A decent amount of growth occured over the course of the year; Cobi showed some spark, and we saw potential in Marcus Douglas in limited minutes. Overall, expect the 2011 squad to be ranked highly and compete well in the ACC and NCAA tournaments; sustained success is tough in the ACC, but the Hoos should have more tools to pull out close games this year.