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Men’s soccer: No. 10 UVA loses 2-0 to No. 23 Duke

uva soccerNo. 10 UVA (6-1-2, 2-1-1 ACC) suffered its first loss of the season, a 2-0 setback at home against No. 23 Duke (6-3-1, 2-2 ACC). The Blue Devils scored both goals in the first half and earned their second shutout of the season.

The Cavaliers found themselves down early after Issa Rayyan drew a foul in the box. Goalkeeper Colin Shutler (Broadlands, Va.) was whistled for the takedown after charging out from his line to prevent the attempt. Daniele Proch, the team’s leading scorer, then came on to convert the try for his ninth goal of the season.

Duke made the game 2-0 in the 20th minute when Matthias Frick headed a Max Moser service into the back of the net. The restart on the near sideline allowed Moser to place a ball to the head of Frick who was waiting on the far back post.

“Very disappointing start to the game for us,” head coach George Gelnovatch said. “When they score like that, two quick goals early, they have belief and they scrap and they fight, and that’s exactly what happened. I give them credit for catching us early and for their game plan but we’ve got to do a better job so that doesn’t happen again.”

Coming into the game, Virginia had conceded only two goals all season, tied for the lowest total in the country and hadn’t allowed an opponent to score twice in a game since Oct. 10, 2017.

Virginia made every attempt to get on the scoreboard, outshooting Duke 9-5 in the contest including a 7-3 edge in the final 45 minutes of action.

Blue Devil goalkeeper Will Pulisic came up big twice late in the match. He denied Irakoze Donasiyano (Roanoke, Va.) in the 71st minute on a strike that first deflected off a Blue Devil defender before being punched over the top of the net. He then denied freshman Daniel Steedman (Cornelius, N.C.) a chance in the 76th minute in what proved to be the final shot on target for the Cavaliers.

Pulsic finished the night with four saves and improved to 6-3-1 on the year. Shutler was credited with two saves and suffered his first loss of his career.

Virginia will conclude a three-game home stand when they take on No. 5 Denver at Klöckner Stadium on Monday night (Oct. 8). The match is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and will air live on ACC Network Extra.