#2 Virginia Men's Soccer Defeats Mercer With Late Comeback, 2-1
Oct. 17, 2001
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The #2 ranked University of Virginia men’s soccer team used a late second-half rally to avoid its first loss of the season and defeated the Mercer Bears by the score of 2-1 in front of 1,193 spectators at Kl?ckner Stadium. Trailing 1-0 with less than 15 minutes to play, UVa’s comeback was made complete with goals by Sheldon Barnes (Miramar, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Alecko Eskandarian (Montvale, N.J./Bergen Catholic) less than four minutes apart.
Mercer broke Virginia’s streak of seven consecutive shutouts when it jumped on the scoreboard first after Neil Zarac scored the first goal of the contest just 5:45 into the match. Zarac fielded his own rebounded shot and fired a one-timer past UVa goalkeeper Kyle Singer (Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) to make it a 1-0 Bears lead. Mercer held on to its 1-0 lead for the remainder of the first half of play and went into the locker room at halftime ahead by one goal.
The Cavaliers turned their offensive attack up a notch in the second period and had several opportunities to score the equalizer, but came up short until late in the game. With Mercer ahead 1-0 and under 15 minutes to play, UVa’s Sean Feeney (Manasquan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) inbounded the ball on a throw-in to teammate Ryan Gibbs (West Chester, Pa./East). Gibbs directed the ball to Barnes who scored the game-tying goal on a header in the box at 75:33. Less than four minutes later, the Bears’ Coleman Duckworth was issued his second caution from head official Lou Farina which resulted in a red card and he was ejected from the game. On the ensuing free-kick, UVa’s Eskandarian scored the game-winning goal from 20 yards out when he blasted a kick into the right corner of the Mercer goal past keeper Lucio Filho to give the Cavaliers a 2-1 lead. Virginia would not relinquish its lead and held on for the win with the Bears playing a man down the final 10:28 of the contest.
Singer gathered two saves in goal for UVa and recorded his second win of the season as the Cavaliers starting keeper, while MU’s Filho collected a game-high eight saves in the loss.
With the victory, Virginia’s record improves to 11-0-1 overall and the loss drops Mercer’s record to 7-6 on the season. The win gives UVa a 1-0-0 lead in the series history.
The Cavaliers will return to action on Saturday, October 20 when UVa travels to Durham, N.C. to face the Duke Blue Devils. The contest is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. and will be played at Koskinen Stadium. The Bears will also return to action when they travel to Charleston, S.C. to face the Citadel at 1:00 p.m.
Scoring 1 2 FMercer (7-6-0) 1 0 1Virginia (11-0-1) 0 2 2
Goals: MU 1 – Zarac @ 5:45. UVa 2 – Barnes @ 75:33 (Feeney, Gibbs), Eskandarian @ 79:32.Shots: UVa 25, MU 6.Corner Kicks: UVa 9, MU 3.Saves: MU 8, UVa 2.Fouls: MU 19, UVa 13.Cautions: MU 4 – Chillemi, Duckworth 2 (yellow, red), Team (head coach). UVa 1 – Eskandarian.Attendance: 1,193.
— UVA —