Cavalier Corner

October 2017

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OCTOBER 2017 23 me become eligible to play at Division I. "I was speechless. I never thought I would be at this great school and get an education. For me, it was like a dream come true." Besides receiving an education and im- proving his game, Millbrook did some- thing else for Opoku. "The teachers were good at spending time helping me develop as a person," he said. "It helped me make the transition to UVA because teachers were willing to help you." Ironically, that's one thing Opoku does with his teammates. "The first thing is he's always smiling and his teammates love him," Gelnovatch said. "He consoles other guys. He's just a good person. "I can't put myself in his shoes, but I think he's making the most of his life." Opoku certainly is making the most of his time on the pitch. Last season, he was named a second- team All-American and twice he's been named All-ACC (second team as a sec- ond-year and third team as a first-year). Through the first 40 games of his ca- reer, he scored 11 goals and assisted on seven. And five of the six goals he scored last season were game-winners, which ranked second in the ACC and 13th nationally. "For me, every forward's dream is scoring goals," Opoku said. "But if I can make a tackle or help the team in any way, that's what I try to do. Whether or not you touch the ball, as long as the team is playing well that's what matters most. That's the mentality I have for ev- ery game. "You also have to take defenders one- on-one and make runs plus create space for my teammates." Gelnovatch also feels scoring goals isn't Opoku's primary concern. "I think he's more focused on our team and winning and competing for champi- onships," Gelnovatch said. "I think he's at a point where he should be in consid- eration as one of the top soccer players in the country." "Soccer definitely saved my life — instead of being like some of my friends who dropped out of school and got into a bad life. Soccer kept me out of that pack." OPOKU

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