University of Virginia junior Will Bates was enjoying a standout season as the Cavaliers go-to goal-scorer, but that season has been cut short.
Bates suffered a torn ACL in Friday's match against Virginia Tech and will miss the remainder of the season, sources told SBI on Tuesday. A pre-season All-American, Bates had scored 14 of UVA's 29 goals this season. He is set to undergo surgery to repair the torn ACL on Friday.
The Cavaliers were ranked No. 22 in the latest Fox Soccer Top 25, and were considered a good bet to make a strong NCAA Tournament run, but losing their leading scorer could prove disastrous. Virginia will now need to lean on the likes of Brian Span and Brian Ownby to pick up the slack.
Bates wasn't projected to be a Generation adidas target for the 2012 MLS Draft, but his stellar play this season had pushed him onto the radar. Now Bates will be sidelined until the 2012 college season. Barring any setbacks, Bates should be able to return for his senior season and should be one of the top senior pro prospects in the nation heading into the 2013 MLS Draft.