Men’s soccer: #5 UVA defeats George Mason, 2-1
The No. 5 Virginia men’s soccer team parlayed a pair of first-half goals into a 2-1 victory over George Mason Tuesday evening at Klöckner Stadium. Riggs Lennon (Jr., Paradise Valley, Ariz.) and Nicko Corriveau (Jr., Potomac, Md.) each scored for the Cavaliers (2-0-1).
“It’s early in the season and I see a lot of positive things and some other things that leave you scratching your head,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “It’s early and it’s a midweek game, but we need to continue to get better. We made some mistakes and that happens, but you hope that it doesn’t cost you the game and that you can learn from them. We learned about some different personnel and now we can get ready for the conference.”
Virginia goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell (So., Todd, N.C.) had a strong night, making four saves. He stopped an early penalty kick, while his remaining saves all came on point-blank opportunities. George Mason keeper Steffen Kraus stopped three shots.
Virginia out-shot George Mason 17-12, while both teams put five shots on goal. UVa held a 5-1 edge in corner kicks. George Mason was whistled for 17 fouls, while UVa was assessed nine.
George Mason (1-3-0) had the chance to get on the board first in the eighth minute as Mason Hoffman was taken down in the box. His penalty kick was then saved by Caldwell.
After creating several chances during the first 30 minutes, Virginia finished on a chance in the 37th minute as Lennon dribbled through traffic and deftly touched the ball past Kraus and inside the far post. The goal was Lennon’s second of the season.
The Cavaliers struck again seven minutes later. In his first career start at right back, Julian Cummings (R-Fr, Fredericksburg, Va.) lofted a high ball downfield that Corriveau tracked down, took into the box and ripped past Kraus. It was his second goal of the year.
Caldwell kept the Patriots off the scoreboard late in the first half with a pair of terrific saves in the final 30 seconds on shots from close range in the box.
George Mason took advantage of a Virginia defensive miscue in the 66th minute as an errant pass back to the keeper was corralled near the top of the box by Henning Dirks, who chipped it past Caldwell toward the far post. The goal was Dirks’ first of the season.
Virginia opens ACC play at 7 p.m. Friday at Duke in a game that will be broadcast online by ESPN3. The match serves as both the Cavaliers’ road opener as well as their first game in conference play. Virginia returns home next Tuesday with a 7 p.m. match against James Madison.