PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Lifted by a heroic five-point performance from veteran forward Phil Horton, Virginia (7-3-0, 3-1 ACC) downed No. 10 Pitt (5-3-1, 2-2 ACC) by a score of 3-1 at Ambrose Urbanic Field to record its second consecutive victory over top-10 opposition on Friday night (Sept. 30).
1’ – Virginia: Phil Horton (Unassisted)
28’ – Pitt: Valentin Noel (Henrique Gallina)
61’ – Virginia: Reese Miller (Phil Horton, Leo Afonso)
73’ – Virginia: Phil Horton (Unassisted)
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Virginia came out swinging when in the first minute of play. Asparuh Slavov blasted a shot towards goal that bounced around the penalty area taking multiple deflections before falling to Phil Horton who blasted it into the back of the net with just 59 seconds off the clock.
As Pitt began to grow into the game, a battle for the midfield began to take place as both teams struggled to dictate the play. With just under half an hour gone in the game, Pitt found the equalizing goal as Noel Valentin curled one into the low corner. Though the Cavaliers would be awarded a penalty in the late stages of the first half, the teams went into the break with the score knotted at 1-1.
After dealing with early pressure from Pitt in the early stages of the second half, Virginia launched a counter-attack in the 61st minute. With a beautiful piece of build-up play, Daniel Mangarov played Phil Horton into the final third who played an incisive pass into Leo Afonso at the penalty spot. An intelligent flick set up Reese Miller to score his first career goal and he did not miss his chance as he put the Cavaliers on top 2-1.
In the 73rd minute of play, smothering pressure from captain Leo Afonso forced a poor back pass from Pitt. With impressive speed, it was Phil Horton who tracked down the ball and fired into the back of the net to seal a 3-1 victory for Virginia.
FROM HEAD COACH GEORGE GELNOVATCH
“The past two results for this team have come against some of the best competition out there right now. I am really proud of our guys and the way they continue to battle. This has been a work in progress all season and we are just looking to continue to get better every game.”
- Virginia records back-to-back victories over a top-10 opponent after taking down No. 3 Syracuse last week (9/24/22)
- The last time the Cavaliers defeated top-10 competition in consecutive games was in the 2019 ACC Tournament
- Virginia has won its third straight game for the first time since the 2019 season
- The win moves Virginia into first place in the ACC Coastal Division
- Phil Horton tallied two goals in the match, his four goals on the season rank second on the team
- Reese Miller tallied his first career goal that stood as the game-winner
- Miller becomes the 12th different Cavalier to record a goal this season, a total that is second among ACC teams this season
- Afonso and Horton each recorded an assist
- Horton’s five points is a career-high and marks the first time a Cavalier has tallied five points or more in a single match since Kome Ubogu accomplished the feat against VCU (9/28/21)
- Horton’s brace marks the first time all season that a Cavalier has scored twice in one game
- The Cavaliers hand Pittsburgh just its fourth home-loss in the last four seasons
- Virginia defeats Pitt for the first time in its last six attempts
- The Cavaliers improve to 8-4-2 all-time against Pitt
- Holden Brown made a season-high six saves in net
- Virginia has scored three or more goals in a match for the fifth time this season
- The Cavaliers achieved double-digit shot totals for the ninth time in their 10 games this season
Virginia will return home to Klöckner Stadium to take on No. 13 Denver on Tuesday (Oct. 4). Kick is set for 6 p.m.
Virginia Men's Soccer Highlights at No. 10 Pitt 9.30.22