The No. 12 Virginia men’s soccer team was shut out for the first time in 2015 Tuesday as it fell to American, 1-0, at Klöckner Stadium. Virginia (7-3-2) finished the non-conference portion of its regular-season schedule with a 5-1-1 mark, while American improved to 9-4-1 on the year.
“It’s a very disappointing result,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “AU is a good team and we knew that. We played them this spring and they were very good. They were very good again tonight, hard working, and have good players. It is what I thought they would be, because I know them and I don’t know if all of us played as hard, or knew what was coming. We need to be better at that. We need to look ourselves in the mirror and be ready for games like this.
“Take nothing away from AU, they are a very good team. But, especially in the first half, we weren’t ready for what they brought. As hard as we tried to get ready, we could not. In the second half we were better and I thought we deserved a goal, but give them credit.”
Both sides took 13 shots, with UVA holding a 9-6 edge in the second half. The Cavaliers earned six corners – all coming in the second half – while American took four.
Both goalkeepers were excellent during the back-and-forth match which featured numerous scoring chances. Virginia goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell (So., Todd, N.C.) recorded four saves, while AU keeper Dylan Hobert also recorded four sheets while gaining the clean sheet.
American struck for the game’s lone score with a fantastic goal in the 12th minute when Joe Irorla cranked a shot from the left edge of the box and buried it high and just inside the far post. It was his second goal of the year.
UVA had several quality scoring chances but failed to cash in for the equalizer. In the 36th minute, Nicko Corriveau (Jr., Potomac, Md.) corralled a loose ball inside the six-yard box, but his short shot was knocked off the line by an AU defender.
Hobert came up with a pair of big saves in a one-minute span midway through the second half. After Derrick Etienne (Fr., Paterson, N.J.) ripped a shot that was deflected, Hobert adjusted in mid-air to deflect the ball over the crossbar. Following the ensuing UVA corner kick, Pablo Aguilar (R-So., Guatemala City, Guatemala) fired a shot over the defense that Hobert leaped to knock away.
UVA’s last-ditch effort came in the 86th minute when Marcus Salandy-Defour (R-Jr., Kensington, Md.) put a head on a cross into the box, but it sailed just wide of the far post, and the Eagles ran the clock out from there.
UVA had won 11 straight matches against American, dating to a 2-1 Eagles win on Oct. 9, 1998, in Charlottesville.
Virginia plays host to Pitt at 8 p.m. Friday at Klöckner Stadium in ACC play. Please note the game time change from the original schedule.