If the Virginia men’s soccer program is going to make one of its annual runs for an NCAA championship, the Cavaliers will have to wait a little longer than usual.
After the ACC championship is likely determined in the fall (the conference has not yet confirmed how it will handle this nor have schedules been released), the NCAA title will be determined in the spring.
“I have a pretty good idea; I’ve just got to refrain from talking about [the league’s plans],” UVa coach George Gelnovatch said during a Friday video conference. “Nothing is set in stone.”
“To try to play anyone outside the conference is tricky.”
The complications were spurred by the approval from the NCAA’s board of directors that moved the Division I championships for soccer, volleyball, field hockey, cross country and FCS football to next spring.
Gelnovatch sees the ACC teams playing one game a week for six weeks, possibly followed by a conference tournament that would last another two weeks.
“With a preseason week or two, I think that’s nine weeks,” said Gelnovatch, whose Cavaliers reached the NCAA championship game last year before losing to Georgetown on penalty kicks.
“Given what we’re going through right now, nine weeks starts to look pretty good.”
The NCAA limit is 20 games.
“If you play in the fall, you can play in the spring,” Gelnovatch continued. “Whatever games you play in the fall can count against you in the spring.
“I think an eight-game fall and a 12-game spring would work pretty well.”
Gelnovatch doesn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to blend his veterans with a dynamite recruiting class.
“There’s all sort of conversations,” Gelnovatch said. “Two other conferences still don’t know if they’re playing or not.
“Playing schools outside of our conference is going to be tough because they can’t afford or do the protocols that we do.”
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