CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 24 Virginia (5-5-1, 1-1 ACC Spring) fell 2-0 at the hands of North Carolina (5-3-2, 2-0 ACC Spring) in a battle for first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division on Saturday night at Dorrance Field. The Tar Heels scored two first half goals just 1:35 seconds apart to propel them to victory.

The Cavaliers were whistled for a foul in the box in the 34th minute that led to a North Carolina penalty kick. Tar Heel forward Giovanni Montesdeoca converted the PK for his fourth goal of the 2020-21 season. It was only the second penalty kick goal Virginia has conceded in 11 games this season.

Just 1:35 later, the Tar Heels found themselves up 2-0 on a header from Riley Thomas, his first career tally. Montesdeoca was credited with the assist on a service from the far side that found the head of a leaping Thomas. Virginia goalkeeper Alex Rando (New York, N.Y.) got a hand on the attempt but the ball deflected into the upper right corner of the goal.

Virginia was outshot 5-2 in the first half but was on the doorstep of its first goal for the final 45 minutes of action. In the 70th minute, back-to-back shot attempts by Leo Afonso (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and Cabrel Happi Kamseu (Harare, Zimbabwe) were miraculously kept from crossing the line. Afonso’s shot from close range was stopped by North Carolina goalkeeper Alec Smir and the rebound was stopped on the line by a North Carolina defender.

North Carolina was credited for four of its five saves in the final 18 minutes of action and held a 9-6 shooting edge in the match. Virginia attempted eight of the game’s 13 corner kicks.

Rando stopped a season-high five North Carolina shots, four in the second half.

The Cavaliers continue ACC action at home this Friday (March 19) with a clash against Virginia Tech at Klöckner Stadium. Start time is slated for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ACCNX.

Additional Notes

  • UNC’s goal was the first conceded by the Cavaliers in 220 minutes of game action this spring.
  • Virginia drops to 12-13-4 against North Carolina under head coach George Gelnovatch.
  • Saturday was only the second time in the last 17 meetings a match between North Carolina and Virginia was decided by more than one goal. Including Saturday, four of the last six games against the Tar Heels have required extra time.