CARY, N.C. - The sixth-ranked and fifth-seeded Virginia men's soccer team won the ACC Championship Sunday afternoon, defeating 20th-ranked and seventh-seeded NC State, 1-0. Will Bates (Chester, Va.) scored the game-winning goal in the 16th minute, while goalkeeper and ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player Diego Restrepo (West Palm Beach, Fla.) posted his eighth-consecutive shutout.
CARY, N.C. – The sixth-ranked and fifth-seeded Virginia men’s soccer team won the ACC Championship Sunday afternoon, defeating 20th-ranked and seventh-seeded NC State, 1-0. Will Bates (Chester, Va.) scored the game-winning goal in the 16th minute, while goalkeeper and ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player Diego Restrepo (West Palm Beach, Fla.) posted his eighth-consecutive shutout.
Virginia (14-3-3) was crowned conference champion for the first time since 2004, for the fourth time during head coach George Gelnovatch’s tenure and for the 10th overall time.
“This is a tough, tough tournament, this ACC Tournament,” Gelnovatch said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys, the way they carried themselves, the way we started the year, where we came from. Winning an ACC Championship is fantastic.”
Defense was again the storyline of the match, as Virginia has now played 837 minutes of soccer without allowing a goal. The Cavaliers shut out their eighth-straight opponent and 13th overall in 2009.
Restrepo finished with two saves and was named MVP after not allowing a goal in the tournament.
“Everybody just worked hard every day,” Restrepo said. “It’s a great group of people that work hard, and stay focused.”
Bates’ game-winning goal was his team-high eighth of the season. Hunter Jumper (Plano, Texas) started the play with a cross across the penalty area from the left side of the field. With his back to the goal, midfielder Jordan Evans (Chester, Va.) flicked the cross on with his left foot and Bates settled the ball and fired a shot into the back of the net from six yards out.
Jumper, also named to the all-tournament team, was credited with one assist (his third of the year), while Evans also earned an assist.
Bates has scored four game-winning goals in his first season as a Cavalier, and was named to the all-tournament team as well. He adds the accolade to a list that already includes All-ACC second team and ACC All-Freshmen honors.
Tony Tchani (Norfolk, Va.) was also named to the all-tournament team for Virginia. The sophomore had the Cavaliers’ game-winning goal in the quarterfinals to lift UVa to a 1-0 victory over fifth-ranked Maryland. Virginia followed up that performance with a 0-0 tie against Wake Forest and advanced 5-4 on penalty kicks in the semifinals.
In their last 11 games, the Cavaliers are unbeaten with an 8-0-3 record.
NC State goalkeeper Christopher Widman finished with four saves. The Cavaliers out-shot the Wolfpack, 15-8, and held a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Virginia earns the ACC’s automatic berth to the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The field of 48 teams will be announced at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16.
2009 ACC All-Tournament Team
Diego Restrepo, Virginia (MVP)
Tony Tchani, Virginia
Will Bates, Virginia
Hunter Jumper, Virginia
Christopher Widman, NC State
Alan Sanchez, NC State
Ronnie Bouemboue, NC State
Edvin Worley, Boston College
Zack Schilawski, Wake Forest
Andy Lubahn, Wake Forest
Nathan Thornton, Clemson