Men’s soccer: No. 10 UVA shuts out No. 5 Denver

uva soccerNo. 10 UVA (7-1-2) handed No. 5 Denver (10-1-2) its first loss of the season with a 3-0 victory on Monday night. Freshman Daryl Dike (Edmond, Okla.) scored a goal in each half to pace the Cavaliers.

It marked the second unbeaten team in six days that walked out of Klöckner Stadium with their first loss of the 2018 season. Coming into the contest, Denver was ranked eighth in the country in scoring offense, averaging 2.33 goals per game. The Virginia defense allowed just two total shots, none in the first half, and recorded its ACC-best, seventh shutout of the season.

Dike was credited with the game-winner in the 28th minute, his first goal of the night. The freshman ran into a clearance attempt near the six-yard box by a Denver defender and it deflected into the back of the net. Less than three minutes later it was 2-0 when Nathaniel Crofts (Sheffield, England) found Simeon Okoro (Weston, Conn.) on the back post for his first tally of the season.

“Denver took many of the same tactics that Duke used on us Friday night and I think we had a really, really good response to them tonight,” head coach George Gelnovatch said. “It was what we’ve been working on for the last two days and we rewarded ourselves by getting the first two goals.”

Dike put the game out of reach in the 70th minute when he took a Crofts pass from the midfield and beat Denver goalkeeper, Will Palmquist to the far post. Crofts recorded the first multi-assist game of the season for a Virginia player and the first since Edward Opoku’s two assist game against Hofstra on Oct. 31, 2017.

The high-pressure Virginia defense did not allow a shot until the 55th minute when Colin Shutler made a save on a Denver restart on top of the box. It was Shutler’s lone save of the night as he collected his seventh win in 10 starts this season.

Virginia will resume Atlantic Coast Conference play on Friday with a road match at Clemson. The contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will air live on ACC Network Extra.

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