Ashburn, VA (Feb. 8, 2016) – Briar Woods senior Colin Shutler signed his National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play soccer for the University of Virginia beginning the 2016/2017 academic school year.
“My recruiting experience was very unique, said Shutler. Recruiting a goalkeeper is different from other positions because the entire coaching staff, including the goalkeeper coaching staff is very involved in the process, and the tenure of the current goalkeepers on the team often comes into play. When I finally commit it felt like a weight was taken off my shoulders because I knew where I was going to be for the next four years of my life and that it was the place I’ve dreamt of going since I was really young.”
Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is currently ranked #26 in the U.S. News & World Report 2016 edition of Best Colleges in the Nation. UVA’s graduate programs include the highly ranked Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, Curry School of Education, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Law and School of Medicine. The beautiful grounds of UVA have always been admired for its unique Jeffersonian architecture, which includes the famous Rotunda. The American Institute of Architects called the rolling landscape and gorgeous buildings, “the proudest achievement of American architecture in the past 200 years.” Additionally, a Gallup survey examining the long-term success of college graduates across the country, University of Virginia alumni surpassed national averages in employment, engagement at work, well-being and attachment to their alma mater.
“Several factors went into my decision to commit to UVA. In terms of legacy, my parents are alumni and I’ve always been a huge fan of UVA soccer. Location was key in that I didn’t want to be too close, or too far from home. I didn’t care about playing in the biggest stadium possible, but wanted one with some culture, and Klockner Stadium was a great pitch! I also respected the work ethic of the coaches and players whom I will be spending most of my time with for the next for years. And even though I want to have a career related to soccer, UVA presents a lot of academic options to support multiple fields of employment.
Shutler’s head coach will be George Gelnovatch. Coach Gelnovatch recently completed his 20th season as the head coach of the Virginia men’s soccer program. Gelnovatch has led the Cavaliers to national championships in 2009 and 2014, five NCAA College Cup appearances, and 20-consecutive berths in the NCAA tournament. A former Cavalier soccer All-American and assistant coach, Gelnovatch has guided Virginia to four ACC tournament titles, two regular-season ACC championships and a record of 284-117-44 during his tenure as UVA head coach. Over the course of his 27 years as an assistant and head coach at Virginia, he has been a part of all seven of the Cavaliers’ national championships.
“During my first year I do not expect to play in games because there is an experienced goalkeeper already on the team. The first year is a time where I will learn the style of the team, continue to focus on training, and further introduce myself to the coaches to prove to them I am the right fit to be awarded the starting spot in future years.”
Shutler has laced up this cleats to play soccer for 14 years. He has yet to play goalkeeper for Briar Woods, but as a striker last year he earned all-conference second team honors. As a goalkeeper in travel soccer, Colin has been a team captain for 6 years, was on the Region 1 Olympic Development Program team, and was invited to 6 USYS National Training Centers. During that time, his fondest memory is being able to play on the same high school team as his older brother Chris, who is a freshman goalkeeper on Binghamton University’s soccer team.
Asked who he is most thankful for, Colin shared, “I am thankful for my parents: my dad for being my first ever coach and introducing the sport to me at such a young age and my mom for managing my club teams since then. I also want to thank them for traveling with me everywhere before I was old enough to travel by myself. I would also like to thank my two Loudoun Soccer coaches Mark Ryan and John O’Hara, who are two of the top coaches in the country, for coaching me not only on the field, but also with life experiences and helping me mature as a person. I would also like to thank my brother Chris, for staying by my side when I was down and pushing me in every training session to become a better player.’
Please join us in wishing Colin Shutler the very best in his success on the soccer field and in pursuit of a physical therapy degree from the University of Virginia.