Mitchell Lifts Virginia Past Virginia Tech, 2-1
BLACKSBURG, Va. Junior midfielder Matt Mitchell scored both of Virginia’s goals to lead the Cavaliers to a 2-1 victory over ACC and in-state rival Virginia Tech, 2-1, Friday night in Blacksburg.
“This was not an easy environment to play in, on the road in the ACC and at an in-state rival like Virginia Tech,” head coach George Gelnovatch said. “This team found a way to grind out a victory by being mentally and physically tough.”
Virginia (5-3-0, 2-0-0 ACC) remained undefeated in conference play and won its third-straight game. Mitchell put the Cavaliers on top early in the first half, finishing a cross from Ross LaBauex in the 19th minute. For Mitchell, it was his second goal of the year and the assist marked LaBauex’s third of the season.
Virginia Tech (2-5-1, 0-3-0 ACC) responded just before halftime, when Scott Dillie finished off a header off of an assist by James Gilson.
The 1-1 stalemate lasted well into the second half, until the 80th minute when Mitchell struck again. The game-winner was unassisted, as Mitchell gathered a rebound from a shot by Chase Neinken that was saved by Hokie goalkeeper Stefan Caulfield.
In the final 10 minutes of the game, Virginia Tech had one game-tying chance, but Craig Brutus’ shot missed wide in the 90th minute. For Mitchell, it marked his second game-winning goal of the year.
“Matt was definitely the man of the night,” Gelnovatch said. “Obviously he scored both goals, but beyond that I think his shoes touched every blade of grass on the field.”
Virginia Tech out-shot Virginia, 13-9, while UVa held a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.
In goal for Virginia, Michael Giallombardo earned his third-straight victory and tallied three saves. Giallombardo has allowed just one goal in his three starts.
Virginia improved to 24-2-1 all-time against Virginia Tech.
On deck for Virginia is another road match, Oct. 3 at North Carolina. Kick-off is 7 p.m., and the game will be streamed live on the internet by ACC Select.