Wahoos happy to spend Thanksgiving at home

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- For Virginia men's soccer coach George Gelnovatch, there's no place like home this Thanksgiving holiday.

With UVA earning the No. 1 overall seed in this year's NCAA Tournament, the road to the College Cup in Cary, NC, will run through Klockner Stadium. After shutting out Campbell 2-0 in last Sunday's second round match, the Wahoos will host St. John's at 7 p.m. Saturday in round three.

Following last Sunday's win, Gelnovatch was asked about the week of recovery time before taking the field again. He placed more value on the lack of travel time for his team.

"The big thing is, you get that week regardless. It's not having to travel," Gelnovatch said. "Last year we were home, and then we had to go to Notre Dame. This year we'll have a nice Thanksgiving as a team, and we don't go anywhere. We'll get ready for the next game. That is very important."

The No. 10 seed last November, UVA's postseason run ended with a 1-0 overtime loss at Notre Dame in the third round. Virginia is just 3-10-1 all-time in true road games in the NCAA Tournament -- and one of those wins (and the draw) came during the Wahoos' run to the 2014 national title.

But this year's team won't have to worry about hitting the road unless they reach the national semifinals in Cary. A win on Saturday night would put keep the Wahoos at home for the NCAA quarterfinals, against the winner of Saturday's game between UCF and SMU in Dallas.

UVA's lone loss this season came at Klockner, a 2-0 shutout at the hands of Pitt in mid-October. But those are two of the four goals the Wahoos have allowed in 14 games on their home pitch this fall. In the second round last Sunday, the Wahoos limited Campbell -- who entered the game with the third-best scoring offense in the country -- to just two shots.

"It's huge. Last year we went to Notre Dame after the second round, and that was tough on us. I'm not going to lie. But to be at home is great," said UVA junior forward Nathaniel Crofts, who scored one of the Wahoos' two second-round goals. "To get the home fans behind us, we don't have to travel. Nothing better. We couldn't ask for much more."



 
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