Men’s Soccer: #21 UVA drops 1-0 decision to #10 Denver at Klöckner Stadium
#21 UVA, a recent add to the national polls after a recent hot streak, dropped a 1-0 decision to #10 Denver on Tuesday night at Klöckner Stadium.
Denver (7-2-2, 2-0 Summit) established possession early and forced an impressive save from Holden Brown from just outside the six-yard box.
The best chance of the first half for UVA (7-4-0, 3-1 ACC) came after an impressive piece of build-up. Triton Beauvois kept a ball in on the left touchline before releasing Leo Afonso in behind.
With an impressive cutback onto his right foot, Afonso played Daniel Mangarov into the box, but his finish sailed just high of the crossbar. Minutes later, Albin Gashi tested the Denver keeper with a shot from distance.
Just over five minutes into the second half, Denver was awarded a penalty kick after being brought down in the area. Though Holden Brown guessed correctly, the ball sailed just wide of his outstretched arm and into the back of the net as Denver took the lead.
The remainder of the game belonged to the Cavaliers as Virginia dominated the ball and pinned the Pioneers back in their own end of the field.
As the game approached the hour mark, Virginia generated another excellent chance in front of goal. Leo Afonso fired a low shot destined for the back of the net but was denied by a Pioneer defender who made a spectacular goal-line clearance.
In the final 15 minutes, the Cavaliers continued to create chances deep inside the Denver penalty area but could not find a way to unlock the Pioneer defense. Late substitute Andy Sulins got on the end of a looping ball into the box and headed it towards the back of the net but was once again denied at the goal line.
“It’s disappointing, but I don’t want to take anything away from the last couple of weeks because they have been two big strides forward,” UVA coach George Gelnovatch said. “I didn’t feel like we deserved a loss in this game, but I give Denver credit for winning it. We will turn the page and get ready for Duke. We are still in a good place and played well today.”
Virginia is back at Klöckner Stadium Friday where they will resume ACC action with No. 2 Duke. The Cavaliers trail the Blue Devils by just one point in the ACC Coastal standings.