Men’s Soccer: UVA shuts out Wake, advances to ACC Final
Second-seeded UVA (16-1-1) advanced to the ACC Final thanks to a 1-0 victory over third-seeded Wake Forest (13-4-1) on Wednesday at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers will play the winner of Clemson and Pittsburgh in their 20th ACC Championship game appearance on Sunday, Nov. 17 in Cary, N.C.
For the second-straight match, junior Nathaniel Crofts (Sheffield, England) was credited with the game-winning goal. His left-footed strike off a cross from Robin Afamefuna (Wuerselen, Germany) deflected off the hands of the Wake Forest goalkeeper and into the right side of the net. Sophomore Daniel Steedman (Glasgow, Scotland) was also credited with an assist on the game-winning tally.
The Virginia defense limited Wake Forest to just one shot on goal, a long-distance shot by Calvin Harris in the 81st minute that was knocked down by goalkeeper Colin Shutler (Middleburg, Va.) and went down as Shutler’s only save. The clean sheet was Virginia’s 13th of the season, the most in the country.
“Against a team that was arguably in contention for a top-four seed (in the NCAA Tournament), this is a college cup caliber team (Wake Forest) and we limited them to very few chances,” head coach George Gelnovatch said. “On the flip side we probably should have had another goal, so it was a good performance by us in that regard.”
Wake Forest managed just five shot attempts on the evening, the sixth time a Virginia opponent has recorded five or less shots in a match this season. The Cavaliers have limited opponents to single-digit shot attempts in 11 of their 18 games in 2019.
The Cavaliers attempted nine shots of their own with four going on target. Virginia also took two of the game’s three corner kick attempts.
Crofts now has five goals on the season and has scored in consecutive ACC Tournament matches. Including last year, four of his nine career goals have been scored in either the ACC or NCAA Tournaments.
The ACC Championship on Sunday (Nov. 17) will take place at WakeMed Soccer Park. The match is slated to start at noon and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.