CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A flurry of late shots and dangerous chances was not enough for the Cavaliers as the No. 21 Virginia men’s soccer team (7-4-0, 3-1 ACC) fell to No. 10 Denver (7-2-2, 2-0 SUMMIT) by a score of 1-0 on Tuesday night (Oct. 4) at Klöckner Stadium.
51’ – Denver: Lukas Fisher (Penalty)
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After a back-and-forth opening five minutes of play, each team settled in and enjoyed stretches of possession. Denver established possession early and forced a strong save from Holden Brown from just outside the six-yard box.
Virginia’s best chance of the first half came after an impressive piece of build-up. Triton Beauvois kept a ball in on the left touchline before releasing Leo Afonso in behind. With an impressive cutback onto his right foot, Afonso played Daniel Mangarov into the box, but his finish sailed just high of the crossbar. Minutes later, Albin Gashi tested the Denver keeper with a shot from distance.
Just over five minutes into the second half, Denver was awarded a penalty kick after being brought down in the area. Though Holden Brown guessed correctly, the ball sailed just wide of his outstretched arm and into the back of the net as Denver took the lead.
The remainder of the game belonged to the Cavaliers as Virginia dominated the ball and pinned the Pioneers back in their own end of the field.
As the game approached the hour mark, Virginia generated another excellent chance in front of goal. Leo Afonso fired a low shot destined for the back of the net but was denied by a Pioneer defender who made a spectacular goal-line clearance.
In the final 15 minutes, the Cavaliers continued to create chances deep inside the Denver penalty area but could not find a way to unlock the Pioneer defense. Late substitute Andy Sulins got on the end of a looping ball into the box and headed it towards the back of the net but was once again denied at the goal line.
FROM HEAD COACH GEORGE GELNOVATCH
“It’s disappointing, but I don’t want to take anything away from the last couple of weeks because they have been two big strides forward. I didn’t feel like we deserved a loss in this game, but I give Denver credit for winning it. We will turn the page and get ready for Duke. We are still in a good place and played well today.”
- Virginia conceded a goal from a penalty kick for just the second time this season
- The Cavaliers faced off with an opponent ranked in the nation’s top 10 for the third consecutive match – Virginia went 2-1 in those matches
- The Cavaliers achieved double-digit shot totals for the 10th time in their 11 games this season
- Virginia is 2-2 against top-10 opposition this season
- The Cavaliers outshot Denver by a margin of 13-6
- Virginia has been outshot in just one of its four losses this season
- The Cavaliers controlled 62 percent of possession
- Leo Afonso took four shots and placed three on target
- Denver takes a 2-1 lead in the all-time series between the two teams
Virginia is back Klöckner Stadium Friday (Oct. 7) where they will resume ACC action with No. 2 Duke. The Cavaliers trail the Blue Devils by just one point in the ACC Coastal standings.