Men's Soccer: NCAA Championship Capsules
NCAA Championship Recaps
1989 NCAA Champions
The 1989 season opened with promise, as the Cavaliers won their first 11 games of the year. Despite losing to Duke in the ACC Tournament, UVa advanced in the NCAAs with a 4-1 win over Philadelphia Textile and a 1-0 triumph against South Carolina.
The Cavaliers moved on to the national semifinals, where they would play at Rutgers. UVa dispatched the Scarlet Knights 3-0 before 7,836 fans as John Maessner scored two goals, while Tim Kunihiro added a goal and freshman Brad Agoos equaled his season total with two timely assists. In the other semifinal, Santa Clara came from behind to shock Indiana 4-2.
UVa struck first in the title game, when Lyle Yorks sent a corner kick to Richie Williams, who headed the ball to Drew Fallon five yards from the goal. Fallon then beat Santa Clara goalkeeper Eric Yamamoto to give the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead at 26:48. UVa maintained the edge until late in the second half, when a pass intended for Tony Meola was intercepted. Jeff Baicher caught Meola going the wrong way for the equalizer, with just 6:23 remaining in regulation.
Neither team was able to score again in the worsening conditions, as the game went through the two regulation 15 minute overtime periods and then two 15 minute sudden death overtimes. The game ended as the second-longest in NCAA Tournament history and yielded the first co-champions since 1968, when Maryland and Michigan State tied. Meola was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Defensive Player, as he guarded against 12 shots, seven coming in the four overtimes, and held Santa Clara to only one goal.
1989 NCAA Champions
Santa Clara 0 1 0 0 0 0 – 1
Combining a blend of youthful rookies and veterans, Virginia capped off another successful season in 1991 by capturing the NCAA title for the second time in three years. The Cavaliers suffered a 2-0 loss to Wake Forest early in the season, despite outshooting the Demon Deacons 15-2, but would not lose another game the rest of the year while posting a 19-1-2 record.
After gaining revenge against Wake Forest with a 3-1 victory in the ACC title game, the Cavaliers moved on to the NCAA Tournament. UVa defeated Hartford 2-1 in sudden death overtime on a goal by A.J. Wood, then downed Yale 2-0 to make it back to the semifinals.
With the Final Four taking place at the University of South Florida, UVa trailed Saint Louis 2-1 late in the game and the Cavaliers’ title hopes were in jeopardy. Virginia applied intense offensive pressure toward the end of regulation and it paid off when Ben Crawley headed in a pass from Mike Huwiler to send the game into overtime. After no one scored in the first two extra sessions, Crawley headed in a cross from Lyle Yorks at 121:50 to put UVa into the title game.
The opponent in the final was a familiar one, as UVa once again faced Santa Clara. As was the case two years earlier, the game was a close one, and neither team scored during regulation. The match would not go to overtime without some controversy however, as Scott Champ headed in a cross from Richie Williams just as the final second ticked away, but the goal was not allowed.
The teams played on for 60 more minutes, but both sides remained unable to find the net. Unlike two years earlier, the game now moved on to a penalty kick shootout, and Bruce Arena opted to use rested backup goalkeeper Tom Henske in the net. Henske would stop two of Santa Clara’s first three shots, while Huwiler, Crawley and Erik Imler all converted to put the Cavaliers up 3-1. Henske then clinched the title by swatting away a low shot from Bruce Broughton and UVa celebrated one of the most emotional endings in NCAA championship history.
Virginia 0, Santa Clara 0 (OT)
UVa declared national champion after winning 3-1 on penalty kicks.
The Cavaliers began the 1992 season by unveiling the premier facility in collegiate soccer, Klöckner Stadium. In the inaugural game, an exhibition contest against Santa Clara, Virginia posted a 1-0 win in front of 6,142 fans. Playing two-thirds of its games at home, UVa went on to win its first 14 contests of the season and push its unbeaten streak to an ACC record 32 games.
ACC rival Duke was waiting in the semifinals but goalkeeper Jeff Causey and the UVa defense posted a shutout, with midfielder Tain Nix providing a clear off the goal line early in the second half. Ben Crawley, who had dedicated the postseason to the memory of his mother, Linda, scored the game-winner against the Blue Devils, knocking home a one-hop pass from Nix at 59:53. The Cavaliers then broke the game open, as A.J. Wood and Brian Bates both scored to give UVa a 3-0 win.
The Cavaliers’ opponent in the title game was the University of San Diego, which staged a late-season rally to make the NCAA Tournament. The Torreros beat perennial powers UCLA and Indiana, and downed local favorite Davidson in the semifinals (3-2 in overtime). The championship game was scoreless until Nate Friends broke the tie at the 69:31 mark. Brad Agoos sent the ball into the box and Friends knocked an off-balance shot off goalkeeper Scott Garlick, but claimed the rebound and lofted the ball into the goal to give Virginia a 1-0 lead.
Claudio Reyna controlled the action for the majority of the time remaining. Reyna’s pass down the right wing in the 77th minute found Agoos, who crossed the ball into a crowded box. Erik Imler came flying in near the left post for an easy header and the clinching 2-0 lead. Reyna was named the tournament’s Offensive MVP for the second straight season.
Virginia 2, San Diego 0
Riding the momentum of the 1992 championship, UVa won its first 11 games and extended its winning streak to a record 17. Clemson would bring the streak to end, as the Cavaliers dropped a tough 2-1 game with the Tigers scoring in the final seconds. UVa later gained revenge against Clemson with a 2-1 win in the ACC title game.
In the NCAAs, the Cavaliers defeated both William & Mary and Loyola by scores of 2-1, then dominated Wisconsin in a 3-0 game which placed UVa in the semifinals for the third year in a row. It also put the Cavaliers in position to win an unprecedented third consecutive NCAA title.
South Carolina outlasted Cal State Fullerton 1-0 in the other semifinal to extend its winning streak to 14 games and advance to its first-ever title game. But UVa had postseason experience in its favor . . . and it also had Friends.
UVa managed only seven shots in the title game, but Friends scored twice to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 win. Friends broke a scoreless tie at 39:54 when he headed home a corner kick from Mike Fisher. Later, at 85:59, Friends volleyed in a Fisher free kick to conclude the scoring. The Gamecocks had a chance to score midway through the second half, when Steve Pier broke free for a one-on-one chance against Jeff Causey, who saved the both the initial shot and a rebound try. Minutes later, Brandon Pollard knocked away a ball at the goal line to preserve the shutout.
Friends was named Offensive MVP after scoring all five of UVa’s goals in the final two games, while Brian Bates was chosen as the tournament’s Defensive MVP. In addition, Causey concluded his career with a third straight shutout in the NCAA finals.
Virginia 2, South Carolina 0
Heading into the 1994 season, the UVa senior class knew it could become the first in NCAA history to graduate with a championship in every year. But things would not come easy. The season opened with a 3-2 loss to Boston University, and also included a 5-1 loss at North Carolina, UVa’s largest margin of defeat since 1975.
Two weeks later, in what may have been the turning point of the season, the Cavaliers rallied from a 4-1 halftime deficit to post a 6-4 win at Clemson. Virginia would go on to win the ACC Tournament for the fourth straight season, but had to battle through a 2-2 tie with Clemson in the semifinals for a victory on penalty kicks. UVa then opened NCAA Tournament play with wins over UNC Greensboro (3-0) and Maryland (2-1). Against James Madison in the quarterfinals, A.J. Wood recorded a hat trick in a 4-1 Cavalier victory as UVa advanced to the final four once again.
The semifinal opponent was Rutgers, which had lost at home to UVa in the memorably cold 1989 semifinals. The Knights’ Kevin O’Connell scored in the ninth minute, but the lead would be short-lived as Damian Silvera hit the net off an assist from Tain Nix. Billy Walsh would knock home the game winner at 53:42, when he put in a cross from Brandon Pollard to seal the victory.
A crowd of over 12,000 turned out for the title game, which saw the Cavaliers face Indiana, a 4-1 victor over UCLA in the other semifinal. UVa jumped ahead in the 21st minute, on a play where Nix started the run up the left flank, crossed midfield and slid a pass to Pollard on the left flank. Pollard beat his man and used his speed to gain room down the side before sending a cross into the box. A.J. Wood knocked the ball off his chest and to his left foot before slipping it past goalkeeper Scott Coufal for the score.
Late in the first half, Indiana’s Brian Maisonneuve blasted a direct kick toward the right corner, but Walsh was at the post and headed it away. Goalkeeper Mark Peters-the tournament’s Defensive MVP-made two big saves in the final 10 minutes. Silvera took Offensive MVP honors and the senior class of Wood, Nix, Clint Peay and Nate Friends stood at midfield holding their fourth NCAA trophy, their names forever a part of NCAA history.
Virginia 1, Indiana 0
The 2009 NCAA title was the sixth for the Cavaliers in program history, having won the championship in 1989 and from 1991-94. The victory also gave the Virginia its 19th team National Championship in school history, the first since men’s lacrosse in 2006.
“I knew was only a matter of time before we won another championship,” said head coach George Gelnovatch. “In 1997, I thought we had a real good chance and lost in the finals. In 2006, we were in the College Cup and things didn’t work out our way. I kept telling people, it was not a matter of if, it was a matter of when. Today was our day.”
Early in the game, the Cavaliers had a golden chance to take an early lead in the fifth minute, but Will Bates’ point-blank header rattled off the post. In the 14th minute. Akron had its first scoring chance, but Diego Restrepo (West Palm Beach, Fla.) made a save on a shot by Anthony Ampaipitakwong. Virginia had another chance in the 27th minute as Tony Tchani (Norfolk, Va.) headed a cross just over the bar. The Cavaliers had a 6-5 shot advantage over the first 45 minutes, but the teams remained scoreless at the half.
Akron (23-1-1) had the first scoring chance of the second half when Teal Bunbury headed a cross wide in the 54th minute. Later in the half, both teams had crosses go through the area, but neither side could get on the end of those passes and the game went to overtime scoreless.
In the overtime periods, neither side could find a game-winning goal, so the champion would be determined by a shootout. Tchani opened the shootout with a goal for Virginia and the Cavaliers took an early advantage when Restrepo stopped Akron’s first kick taken by Zarek Valentin.
After Ari Dimas (Chesapeake, Va.) and the Zips’ Ben Zemanski both converted their attempts in round two, the Cavaliers led 2-1. That lead was extended to 3-1 as Sean Hiller (Colts Neck, N.J.) made his kick and Akron’s Kofi Sarkodie sent his off the post. In round four, Jonathan Villanueva (Grand Prairie, Texas) had a chance to clinch the title, but Akron keeper David Meves made a save and the Zips’ Scott Caldwell converted the ensuing attempt to keep Akron alive.
Greg Monaco (Virginia Beach, Va.) had Virginia’s second attempt for a championship, but Meves once again made a save. Blair Gavin had the fifth attempt for Akron and needed to convert to force extra kicks, but his shot sailed over the bar to give Virginia the National Championship.
Overall, Akron outshot Virginia 12-10 and had a 6-4 corner kick edge over the 110 minutes. Restrepo and Meves each made three saves in net.
Villanueva, who had two assists in the Cavaliers’ semifinal win over Wake Forest was named the College Cup’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player, while Restrepo, who posted his school record extending 16th shutout of the season in the final, was named the College Cup’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Joining those players on the All-Tournament team were Brian Ownby (Glen Allen, Va.), Mike Volk (Bear, Del.) and Tchani.
The championship was the second of Virginia’s six titles to be decided in penalty kicks. The Cavaliers won the 1991 title in a shootout over Santa Clara after a scoreless draw. That game was the last time the NCAA Championship Final had a scoreless draw and needed penalty kicks to determine the winner.
Virginia 0, Akron 0 (2OT)
• 1989 Recap