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Sept. 1, 2002

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The #2 University of Virginia men’s soccer team won the 2002 Virginia Soccer Classic Tournament after recording a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Rhode Island Rams in front of 2,140 spectators at Kl?ckner Stadium. UVa, a 3-2 winner over #25 Kentucky on Friday, needed a goal by Rob Wright (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) to break open a 1-1 tie to seal its second win of the season. By claiming the tournament title, Virginia won its 12th home tournament and its first since winning the 2000 Virginia Soccer Classic. The Cavaliers have hosted a total of 18 regular season tournaments.

After both teams played through a scoreless first half of play, Rhode Island scored its first and only goal of the tournament when Peter Benevides gathered a loose ball in the box and chipped in a shot from just two yards away to give the Rams a 1-0 lead at the 57:34 mark. However, Rhode Island’s lead was short-lived and Virginia tied the score at 1-1 just under a minute and a half later at 58:52 when Alecko Eskandarian (Montvale, N.J./Bergen Catholic) gathered a cross from teammate John Hartman (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) and fired a shot into an open goal after the Rams’ goalkeeper Michael Charles was tangled up in traffic. Eskandarian’s goal was his third of the tournament, but he wasn’t finished just yet. At the 65:28 mark, Eskandarian sent a cross to Wright who fired a deflected shot into goal for the game-winning score for the Cavaliers. Wright’s goal was the fourth of his career and his first since the 1998 season.

The Cavaliers’ David Comfort (Richmond, Va./Monacan) made five saves to earn his second win in goal this year, while the Rams’ Charles made three stops in a losing effort.

With the win, Virginia improves to 2-0-0 on the season while the loss drops Rhode Island’s record to 0-2-0 on the year. UVa now leads the all-time series with URI, 2-0-0.

Virginia had four players named to the All-Tournament Team after Eskandarian, Ryan Kelly (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee), Jonathan Cole (Annapolis, Md./McDonogh) and Matt Oliver (Waldorf, Md./Dematha Catholic) were selected. Eskandarian was named the tournament’s MVP.

The Cavaliers will return to action on September 6-8 when UVa travels to College Park, Maryland to compete in the 2002 Maryland/Fila Classic. Virginia will face the VCU Rams on Friday, September 6th at 5:00 p.m. before facing the Penn State Nittany Lions on Sunday, September 8th at 12:00 noon. Both contests will be played at Ludwig Field on the campus of the University of Maryland.

Scoring             	1   	2  	FRhode Island	0	1	1#2 Virginia    	0	2	2
Goals: UVa - Eskandarian (Hartman) @ 58:52, Wright (Eskandarian) @ 65:28.URI - Benevides (unassisted) @ 65:28.Shots: UVa 17, URI 7.Corner Kicks: UVa 5, URI 3.Saves: UVa 5, URI 3.Fouls: URI 22, UVa 19.Offsides: URI 3, UVa 0.Yellow Cards: URI - Benevides, Bellen, Mazza.  UVa - Hartman.Red Cards: None.Attendance:  2,140.


2002 Virginia Soccer Classic Tournament Results

Contest	Opponents			ScoreGame 1	Maryland def. Rhode Island		8-0Game 2	Virginia def. Kentucky		3-2Game 3	Kentucky def. Maryland		2-1Game 4	Virginia def. Rhode Island		2-1

2002 Virginia Soccer Classic Tournament Standings

Place	Team		Record	Notes1st 	Virginia		2-0-0	Finished undefeated.2nd	Kentucky	1-1-0	Earned tie-breaker over Maryland.3rd	Maryland	1-1-0	Lost tie-breaker to Kentucky.4th	Rhode Island	0-2-0	Finished winless.

2002 Virginia Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team

Player			Team		HonorAlecko Eskandarian	Virginia		MVPRyan Kelly		VirginiaJonathan Cole		VirginiaMatt Oliver		VirginiaDani Kamras		KentuckyJ.D. Stephenson		KentuckyNathan Fleetwood		KentuckySumed Ibrahim		MarylandSeth Stammler		MarylandRuss Smith		Rhode IslandPeter Benevides		Rhode Island

— UVa —

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