The Virginian-Pilot
                             THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT 
              Copyright (c) 1994, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: Sunday, December 11, 1994              TAG: 9412110217
SECTION: SPORTS                   PAGE: C7   EDITION: FINAL 
DATELINE: DAVIDSON, N.C.                     LENGTH: Short :   43 lines


Nobody should make the mistake of comparing this year's Virginia team to its three men's soccer predecessors, even though it plays again for the championship today.

``The last three years, everybody said Virginia should win,'' coach Bruce Arena said after last week's quarterfinals win. ``This year people were saying Virginia can't win.''

Nevertheless, the Cavaliers reached the final four for the fifth time in six seasons and will meet Indiana in the championship game today at 1:30 p.m. at Davidson College.

The Hoosiers (23-2), participating in their 10th final four, are seeking to give coach Jerry Yeagley his fourth championship to go with titles in 1982, '83 and '88. Indiana routed UCLA 4-1 in the semifinals.

Virginia (21-3-1) rallied for a 2-1 victory over Rutgers Saturday that proved costly when sophomore midfielder Mike Fisher was cited for a delay of game with 1:38 remaining and received a yellow card.

Fisher was allowed to remain in the game, but will be unavailable for today's game because he has received three yellow cards in U.Va.'s seven postseason games, including the ACC Tournament.

``It would have been different if he had cleated someone,'' said freshman midfielder Billy Walsh, who scored the winning goal. ``Mike couldn't have felt any worse after the game; it's sad because he was our most consistent player.''

His spot will be filled by either David Fitzmaurice or Key Reid, strong defensively but unlikely to provide the offense that Fisher does.

Also, Fisher has been handling all of the team's corner kicks.

U.Va. has signed the Gatorade national player of the year in three of the last four seasons, but Reyna turned pro, Fisher has his one-game suspension and freshman Andriy Shapowal has a broken foot.

Moreover, U.Va. played all season without promising midfielder Mike Slivinski, declared academically ineligible by the school. by CNB