No. 7 UVa Blanks No. 18 NC State, 1-0
CHARLOTTESVILLE – On a night that the seventh-ranked Virginia men’s soccer team honored its senior class, it was two fourth-year players that connected for the game’s lone goal as the Cavaliers shut out No. 18 NC State, 1-0, Saturday night at Klöckner Stadium.
Ross LaBauex (Chicago, Ill.) scored his first goal of the season in the 21st minute to lift UVa to victory. Neil Barlow (Herndon, Va.) had the assist, his team-high fifth of the season. LaBauex and Barlow, along with Jordan Evans (Chester, Va.), Chase Neinken (Roswell, Ga.) and Jonathan Villanueva (Grand Prairie, Texas) were honored in a pregame Senior Night ceremony.
Virginia (12-3-1, 4-3-1 ACC) concluded its regular season by extending its unbeaten streak to eight games and shutting out its fifth-consecutive opponent.
In goal for the Cavaliers, Diego Restrepo (West Palm Beach, Fla.) recorded three saves to earn his ACC-leading ninth shutout of the season. Through their 17 regular-season matches, the Cavaliers have allowed just seven goals.
“I really thought it was a game of two very different halves,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “In the first half, we created great chances and moved the ball unbelievably well. The second half was more of a stalemate and we grinded it out against a very good NC State team.”
UVa’s goal was the result of a restart, after NC State was called for a foul outside the top of the penalty box. Barlow pushed the ball to LaBauex, who rocketed a shot on goal from 25 yards out with his right foot. NC State goalkeeper Christopher Widman made a diving effort, but LaBauex’s shot found the back of the net to the far post.
From there, the Cavaliers relied on their defense to preserve the one-goal victory. Virginia held a slight advantage in shots, 7-5, and corner kicks, 5-4.
Saturday’s match concludes the Cavaliers’ regular season. Pairings and seedings for the 2009 ACC Men’s Soccer Tournament, being held Nov. 10-15 in Cary, N.C., will be announced on Monday, Nov. 9.