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Oct. 9, 2012

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CHARLOTTESVILLE – Senior forward Will Bates scored twice, including a game-winning penalty kick in the 89th minute, to lift Virginia to a 2-1 win over No. 23 High Point Tuesday night at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers improve to 6-5-1 with the victory, while handing the Panthers (10-1-1) their first loss of the season and snapping their 16-match unbeaten streak.

“Give a lot of credit to High Point for being undefeated at this point in the season; that isn’t an easy thing to do and they are a very good team,” said head coach George Gelnovatch. “We gifted them a goal early. It was a mistake, but we responded and tied it up later in the first half. In the second half we played a dangerous game with them, because we are good in possession and they are good on the counter. It was a matter of were they going to catch us on a counter or were we going to be able to break them down. We were able to do that late and it won us the game.”

High Point took the early lead in the 10th minute of play. Mamadee Nyepon stole a ball from a defender and set up Shawn Sloan in behind the defense. Sloan took advantage of his one-on-one chance with Cavalier goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita and slotted home his fifth goal of the season.

Virginia drew even in the 29th minute on Bates’ first tally of the night. After Darius Madison was fouled just outside the box, Bates took the ensuing free kick and curled it over the wall and into the net for his sixth goal of the season. The game remained tied 1-1 at intermission.

The Cavaliers had several quality chances as the second half progressed. Twice on corner kicks, a headed shot was saved off the line by High Point defender Shane Malcolm, one by Matt Brown in the 64th minute and one by Bates in the 88th minute.

With just 73 seconds remaining to play, a ball into the box bounced and hit the arm of Malcolm and was whistled for a penalty kick. Bates stepped to the spot and blasted in his seventh goal of the season and second of the night.

“This was a huge result for us,” said Gelnovatch. “We have played three of our last four on the road against very tough opponents. Winning gives you energy. Playing well and winning against a very good opponent like them will give us a lot of energy and momentum as we continue this homestand.”

Virginia outshot High Point 10-9 and had a 4-3 corner kick edge. LaCivita made two saves for the Cavaliers, while Kody Palmer made two at the other end for the Panthers.

The Cavaliers continue their four-game homestand on Friday as they host No. 15 Wake Forest. Game time at Klöckner Stadium is 7 p.m.

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