Four Second-Half Goals Lift Virginia Past Wisconsin, 4-2
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Tournament MVP Brian Ownby scored a pair of goals as part of a four-goal second-half outburst to propel the No. 16 Virginia men’s soccer team to a 4-2 victory over Wisconsin Sunday afternoon as the Cavaliers won the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational. The tournament was hosted at Thompson Field in Blacksburg by Virginia Tech.
UVa defeated Cincinnati, 1-0, Friday and is the only team that finished the tournament with a perfect 2-0 record. Ownby was joined on the all-tournament team by Ari Dimas, Will Bates and Brian Span.
Virginia gave up a late first-half goal and trailed heading into halftime, but exploded for three goals over an eight-minute span in the second half to forge ahead for good.
“We didn’t create a ton of chances in the first half but I felt we controlled play for the most part,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “Wisconsin scored a great first goal – I have to tip my hat to them. That jolted us in a good way and we really had a lot of energy at halftime. We made a couple of changes with Ownby and (Felipe) Libreros as well as a couple of tactical changes, and that made a big difference.
“We won the game in the first 20 minutes of the second half. They scored a goal as well to tie it, but I really felt like it was only a matter of time until we would score again.”
Eric Bird had a goal and an assist for UVa, while Bates also added a goal. Libreros chipped in with a pair of assists. Virginia out-shot Wisconsin 20-12 and put eight shots on goal, compared to four for the Badgers. Wisconsin took four corner kicks, while UVa had three. UVa goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita made a pair of saves, while UW keeper Ciro Marinez made four saves, with three coming in the first half.
Wisconsin scored against the run of play in the 43rd minute after Joey Tennyson dribbled down the center of the field and unleashed a rocket from 30 yards out to score past LaCivita.
After Ownby and Libreros subbed in to start the second half, Virginia moved ahead early in the half with a pair of goals just a minute, 16 seconds apart. Bird scored his first college goal at the 61:11 mark, heading in a Libreros cross inside the far post. Ownby then headed in one of his own, coming off a Span cross and giving UVa a 2-1 lead.
Wisconsin immediately responded when Tomislav Zadro lobbed a long ball behind the UVa defense which Josh Thiermann cashed in from eight yards out. The goal came just 24 seconds following Ownby’s score.
In the 70th minute Ownby found the net once again. Bird crossed the ball into the box and after it was deflected by Martinez, Ownby tapped it home for the goal. It marked the third career two-goal game for Ownby, who appeared in his first game of the season Friday after sitting out the first two matches with an injury.
“He really added to the team Friday, even just in his 20 minutes on the field,” Gelnovatch said. “We scored during that time, and he brought a lot of energy to the team. Today his presence made a huge difference.”
UVa added an insurance score in the 88th minute off the counter attack when Libreros found Bates, who shot from the center of the box from 15 yards out and beat Martinez to give the Cavaliers a 4-2 edge. The goal capped a big week for Bates, who scored four goals and aided on two assists in three matches.
Virginia opens ACC play at 7 p.m. Friday at No. 17 Duke. The match is the NSCAA Game of the Week and will be televised nationally on the FOX Soccer Channel.
2011 Virginia Tech Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational All-Tournament Team
Ari Dimas, Virginia
Will Bates, Virginia
Brian Span, Virginia
Josh Thiermann, Wisconsin
Blake Succa, Wisconsin
Tomislav Zadro, Wisconsin
Jed Prater, VT
Robert Alberti, VT
Sam Klosterman, Cincinnati
Emmanuel Appiah, Cincinnati
MVP: Brian Ownby, Virginia
Tournament Final Standings
1. Virginia, 2-0
2. Wisconsin, 1-1 (head-to-head tiebreaker over VT)
3. Virginia Tech, 1-1
4. Cincinnati, 0-2