Men’s soccer: No. 6 UVA notches third straight win
No. 6 UVA (9-1-2) closed out its non-conference slate with a 2-1 victory over Radford (5-7) on Tuesday night. Simeon Okoro (Weston, Conn.) finished with a career-high, three points (1g, 1a), including the game-winning score in the 64th minute.
Reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Week, Daryl Dike (Edmond, Okla.), gave the Cavaliers the initial lead in the 59th minute with his fifth goal in five games but the one-goal advantage was short lived after Radford’s Gonzalo Rodriguez scored his first goal of the season 4:06 later.
It took less the two minutes for Virginia to respond to the Radford equalizer when Okoro netted his second tally of the season. The senior was able to coral a rebound off a shot by Nathaniel Crofts (Sheffield, England) in the middle of the box and tucked into to the lower right corner of the net, giving Virginia a 2-1 advantage. Crofts was credited with his team-leading sixth assist of the year and now has five assists in the last three games.
“For me, you take their goal away, which was a mistake from us, we played very well,” head coach George Gelnovatch said. “We were able to wear them down and get two goals in the second half. We’ll turn the page quickly on this one and get ready for our biggest game of the year so far on Saturday (vs. No. 1 Wake Forest).”
Radford, who upset then-No. 10 Virginia last season, 1-0 at Klöckner Stadium, scored only the second, second-half goal by a Virginia opponent in 2018. The Cavaliers came into the match with five total goals conceded in 11 games and the country’s second-lowest goals against average (0.44).
Virginia goalkeeper Colin Shutler (Broadlands, Va.) made three saves to earn his ninth win of the year. His counterpart, Sam Farrell turned away five of the Cavalier 19 shots attempts. Of the 19 chances for the Cavalier offense, 12 came in the second half of play.
Virginia will get back to ACC play on Saturday (Oct. 20) at Klöckner Stadium when it hosts No. 1 Wake Forest in a rematch of the 2017 ACC Championship game at 1 p.m. The match will also serve as the program’s Senior Day. The Cavaliers will honor fourth years Daniel Barir, Sergi Nus, Kennedy Nwabia, Simeon Okoro and Prosper Figbe prior to game action.