Four second-half goals power No. 10 Virginia in comeback win
No. 10 Virginia (9-1-2) came-from-behind twice and scored four, second half goals in a 4-2 win over Lehigh (7-4-1) at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers improved to 7-0 against non-conference opponents this season.
Junior Edward Opoku (Millbrook, N.Y.) won a loose ball in the box in the 82nd minute and buried his seventh goal of the season for the eventual game-winning score. Sophomore Ryan Peterson put the game out of reach a little under five minutes later with the Cavaliers’ fourth goal of the half. It marked the Virginia’s first, four-goal half since Sept. 11, 2012 in a 6-1 win over Mt. St. Mary’s College.
“In previous years, the midweek games have been a little more of a grind for us but I think this team always believes we’re going to score,” said head coach George Gelnovatch. “These out of conference games don’t do anything for us in the ACC standings but are good for us in the RPI. We scheduled a good team (Lehigh) for a reason because they are 38th in the RPI. This win is important just like many of our other non-conference games so far.”
Virginia trailed at half for only the third time this season after Lehigh’s Mark Forrest scored his ninth goal of the season on a penalty kick attempt in the 38th minute. Virginia was able to draw a foul in the box in the 60th minute and Sergi Nus (Barcelona, Spain) was able to knot the game up at one. The goal was his sixth of the season and fourth PK score of the year.
The Mountain Hawks answered with their second goal of the night in the 67th minute. Forrest pushed a through ball to the far side of the field where Bratislav Petkovic was able to tally his second goal of the season.
Another familiar face on the Cavalier scoring front, Pablo Aguilar (Guatemala City, Guatemala), tied the game up at two a little over six minutes later on a long strike from the top of the box. The score was setup by Jerren Nixon Jr. (Atlanta, Ga.) who tallied his first collegiate point. The give-and-go worked to perfection and was finished with a perfectly placed shot into the upper right 90. Aguilar was credited with his fifth goal of the season, two shy of his career-high.
Virginia flipped the script in the second half, out-shooting Lehigh, 9-6 and out-cornering the Mountain Hawks, 6-1. Lehigh created six shots compared to just four by Virginia in the first half. For the game, Virginia held a 13-12 edge on shots and each team had seven corner kicks.
Up Next: Virginia will hit the road for only the third time this season on Friday (Oct. 13) to take on ACC foe, N.C. State in Raleigh. Start time is slated for 7 p.m. and the contest will air live on ACC Network Extra.
-Virginia improves to 3-0 against Lehigh in their first meeting since the first round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers have outscored the Mountain Hawks 11-3 in the all-time series.
-Lehigh came into Tuesday’s contest unbeaten in seven of its last eight games.
-Virginia surrendered its second penalty kick goal this season. Opponents are 2-for-2 while Virginia is 4-for-5.
-Opoku moves into a tie for the team lead with three, game-winning goals this season.
-Nixon Jr. was the 13th different Cavaliers to register a point this season.
-Peterson scored his first collegiate goal and now has three points on the season (1g, 1a).