Men’s Soccer: #2 UVA advances to ACC semifinals

UVA soccerNo. 2 seed UVA (15-1-1) scored two first half goals en route to a 2-1 victory over Syracuse (7-6-6) in the ACC Quarterfinals at Klöckner Stadium on Sunday.

The Cavaliers will advance to play either Wake Forest or Virginia Tech on Wednesday (Nov. 13).

Virginia scored its two goals a little over seven minutes apart to open up a two-goal lead just 18 minutes into the match. Sophomore Daryl Dike (Edmond, Okla.) drew a foul in the box in the 11th minute to setup a penalty kick goal by Joe Bell (Wanaka, New Zealand). All three of Bell’s goals this season have come from the penalty spot where he is a perfect, 3-for-3.

Dike was again in on the next Cavalier scoring opportunity when he took the ball down the far sideline and centered a pass to Nathaniel Crofts (Sheffield, England) who one-touched the ball into the back of the net. The tally for Crofts was his fourth of the season. Dike was credited with his team-leading, seventh assist of the season.

Syracuse was ignited in the 70th minute on a goal by Luther Archimede off one of the Orange’s four corner kicks of the afternoon. Including the goal-scoring play, the Orange fired off the match’s final four shots and were awarded two corner kicks in the final 20 minutes of play.

“I think we managed the first half pretty good, getting the two goals but to their credit the second half they stepped up the pressure a little bit,” head coach George Gelnovatch said. “I’m very disappointed in giving up that goal, we don’t give up goals that easy, especially on restarts like that. There are lessons to be learned, we need to control the transitions and need to make better decisions with the ball.”

The Cavaliers held an 11-9 edge in shots and both teams managed four corner kicks in the contest. Only two of the Orange’s nine shots went on target. Virginia possessed the ball for 54 percent of the match.

Virginia will await the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal match between No. 3 seed Wake Forest and No. 11 seed Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers will host the advancing team on Wednesday at Klöckner Stadium. The match will be scheduled for either 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. and be determined at the conclusion of the quarterfinal round tonight.

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