Virginia's Bates named Freshman of the Year

Will Bates, whose emergence as the top scoring threat for Virginia was a key to the Cavs' title run, is the 2009 Soccer America Freshman of the Year.

He joins a list of Soccer America Freshmen of the Year winners who include World Cup players Claudio Reyna, Brad Friedel, Shaka Hislop and Bruce Murray.

One of the turning points in Virginia's march to its sixth national title was Coach George Gelnovatch's decision to move Bates to the frontline.

"He was playing more of a wide position for us," says Gelnovatch, "and it was a conscious decision [to move him]. We felt that the other combinations we were using with that position weren't effective for us. It was about that time that things started to get a little easier for us. It didn't happen overnight. It was game by game."

Bates began the season with one goal in his first 10 games but finished with 12 goals to lead Virginia.

SOCCER AMERICA MEN'S FRESHMEN OF THE YEAR
2009 -- Will Bates (Virginia)
2008 -- Casey Townsend (Maryland)
2007 -- Corben Bone (Wake Forest)
2006 -- David Estrada (UCLA)
2005 -- Lee Nguyen (Indiana)
2004 -- Michael Videira (Duke)
2003 -- Vedad Ibisevic (Saint Louis)
2001 -- Jarett Park (Syracuse)
2000 -- Alecko Eskandarian (Virginia)
1999 -- Conor Casey (Portland)
1998 -- Taylor Twellman (Maryland)
1997 -- Nick Garcia (Indiana)
1996 -- Wojtek Krakowiak (St. John's)
1995 -- Jay Heaps (Duke)
1994 -- Nick Bone (Boston University)
1993 -- Andre Parris (Princeton)
1992 -- Guillermo Jara (San Diego)
1991 -- Claudio Reyna (Virginia)
1990 -- Brad Friedel (UCLA)
1989 -- Ruben Tufino (South Carolina)
1988 -- Shaka Hislop (Howard)
1984 -- Bruce Murray (Clemson)
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