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10/11/2014 | 7:00 PM

Oct. 7, 2014

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FAIRFAX, Va. – The 14th-ranked Virginia men’s soccer team pulled out a 1-0 win at George Mason Tuesday evening in front of 3,003 fans in rainy conditions at George Mason Stadium in Fairfax, Va. An Eric Bird (Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) second-half goal proved to be the difference as Virginia (7-3-1) won its third straight match, despite playing with just 10 men for the final 14 minutes.

“This was a great win on the road against a good George Mason team,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “We played well for long stretches of the game and really had to deal with a counterattacking team that had a long throw-in and a goalkeeper who can kick the ball 75 yards. It was a hostile environment and a good crowd, and our guys did a good job being organized, particularly a man down. We’ve been in that position before and did a good job of closing things out.”

Virginia recorded its second straight clean sheet and its fifth of the season. UVa has conceded just seven goals in 11 matches this season.

Virginia out-shot George Mason, 12-8, including a 7-3 edge in the second half. UVa put nine shots on goal to five for GMU (7-2-2). The Cavaliers held a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Virginia goalkeeper Calle Brown (R-Sr., Leesburg, Va.) made five saves in notching his second straight shutout and fourth of the season. George Mason keeper Steffen Kraus recorded eight saves.

UVa withstood an early George Mason charge and nearly took the lead in the 35th minute off a free kick, but Madison was called offside when he poked in the rebound.

After coming out strong and dictating play from the outset of the second half, Virginia struck for the lone goal of the match in the 56th minute. Following a Scott Thomsen (Jr., Brick, N.J.) corner kick, Todd Wharton (Jr., Glen Allen Va.) cranked a shot from about 20 yards which caromed off Bird and directly into the goal. Bird was credited with the goal, his second of the season, while Wharton picked up the assist.

The Cavaliers were forced to play a man down in the 76th minute when Darius Madison (Jr., Philadelphia, Pa.) sent off with a red card. UVa’s defense buckled down from there as George Mason took just one shot with the man advantage.

UVa returns home at 7 p.m. Saturday to play Duke. The Duke contest is Scarf Night: the first 3,000 fans will receive a free Virginia Soccer scarf. There is a $12 family package available, which includes a general admission ticket and an $8 concession voucher (minimum of two required).

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