Men’s soccer: #5 UVA draws with Duke

uva-duke-headerThe No. 5 Virginia men’s soccer team played Duke to a 2-2 draw Friday evening at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. The match was both the road and ACC opener for the Cavaliers (2-0-2, 0-0-1 ACC).

“It was a very good game – two good teams with different styles,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “It was a fun game to coach, with a lot of tactics. Getting a point on the road in this conference is pretty good; Duke will do well in the conference. I thought we did well to deal with their initial charge, even with giving up the goal. We probably should have had goal or two ourselves in the first half, but we came out strong in the second half and were able to finish on a couple chances.”

Pablo Aguilar (So., Guatemala City, Guatemala) and Jake Rozhansky (So., Germantown, Md.) each scored in the second half for Virginia, which trailed 1-0 at the half.

The match featured a wealth of offensive opportunities on both sides in end-to-end action. Duke (4-0-1, 0-0-1) held a 21-19 edge in shots, although the Cavaliers put 10 shots on goal, compared to six for the Blue Devils. Duke held a decided edge in corner kicks, 14-4. Virginia committed 17 fouls, while Duke was called for 15.

UVa goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell (So., Todd, N.C.) made four saves, while Duke goalkeeper Wilson Fisher saved eight shots on goal.

Duke held the better of the play for the majority of the first half. The Blue Devils cashed in for a goal in the 22nd minute when Markus Fjortoft headed in a corner kick from Ryan Thompson for his second goal of the season.

Virginia started to tilt the momentum their way with a flurry of chances late in the first half and charged out of the gate quickly in the second half, scoring a pair of goals in the first eight minutes. On a counter after Duke’s first offensive opportunity of the half, Riggs Lennon (Jr., Paradise Valley, Ariz.) drove down the right flank and into the box, where he ripped a shot that Fisher deflected but Aguilar corralled the rebound and knocked it inside the near post for his first goal of the year. The score came just 46 seconds into the half.

The Cavaliers wasted little time in taking the lead, scoring just over six minutes later. After a Duke turnover deep in its own half of the field, Rozhansky drove toward the top of the left side of the box, and just after crossing into the box, he used his left foot to send a beautiful low shot off which nestled into the net just inside the far post. It goal was Rozhansky’s first of the season.

Duke again scored off a corner in the 67th minute. After the corner went deep into the box, Jared Rist’s header caromed off the crossbar and out to Jeremy Ebobisse, whose one-timer from 10 yards found the near upper 90 for his fifth goal of the season.

Caldwell came up big down the stretch, making diving saves in the 76th and 77th minutes to squelch Duke scoring chances.

The teams battled through a pair of scoreless overtime periods. UVa had the best scoring opportunity, gaining a corner kick in the second overtime which led to a blast from 25 yards from Todd Wharton (Sr., Glen Allen, Va.) that rolled just wide. UVa nearly had the golden goal in the 105th minute from Edward Opoku (Fr., Rye, N.Y.), but he narrowly was called offside as he broke loose on his run down the field.

Virginia returns home Tuesday (Sept. 15) with a 7 p.m. match against James Madison. The Cavaliers then play host to NC State next Friday (Sept. 18) in an ACC match.


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