CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – In a highly intense, physical battle between ACC foes, the No. 21 Virginia men’s soccer team (7-4-1, 3-1-1 ACC) wrestled No. 2 Duke (8-0-3, 3-0-1 ACC) to a scoreless draw on Friday night (Oct. 7) at Klöckner Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Virginia survived a nervy opening couple of minutes as Duke’s attack used its blistering pace to create a pair of dangerous chances with the ball bouncing freely around the Virginia penalty area. After another Duke counter-attack was smothered, Virginia turned up the pressure itself winning a corner kick before Leo Afonso created a chance for Phil Horton that was sent just wide of the post.
Just minutes later, it was Moritz Kappelsberger that put the Duke defense on notice as he got on the end of a second ball in the Duke penalty area that he put just left of the goalpost.
Another excellent chance materialized for Virginia with just over 20 minutes played in the first half. From about halfway between midfield and the Duke’s 18-yard box, Axel Ahlander arched an impressive pass over the top of the defense. Duke’s Eliot Hamill got to the ball just in time to smother the danger before Daniel Mangarov could break the tie.
In the early moments of the second half, Duke came out swinging. The Blue Devils had Virginia pinned deep in its own end while looking like a threat to score on multiple occasions. However, the Cavaliers proved resolute defensively and countered themselves in the attacking end.
The later stages of the game belonged to Virginia. There was no hiding the Cavaliers’ ambition to take all three points as Virginia made run after run deep into Duke’s penalty area throughout the final 20 minutes of action. Mangarov, Leo Afonso and Asparuh Slavov all made attempts at goal but ultimately could not unlock the Duke defense resulting in the team’s first draw of the season.
FROM HEAD COACH GEORGE GELNOVATCH
“We are disappointed not to come away with a win tonight. We recognize that we played a quality opponent that is undefeated and ranked number two for a reason and I think we played them toe-to-toe tonight, and I would say we characterized more of the game. So, we are a little disappointed in that sense.”
- Virginia kept its third clean sheet in five matches and its sixth over the course of the season
- The Cavaliers remain just one point behind the Blue Devils in the ACC Coastal Standings
- Virginia has now held three of the ACC’s top-eight scorers, Nathan Opoku (Syracuse), Bertin Jacquesson (Pitt) and Mohammed Shakur (Duke) without a single point in matches against their respective teams
- The Cavaliers faced off with an opponent ranked in the nation’s top 10 for the fourth consecutive match – Virginia went 2-1-1 in those matches
- Virginia has allowed just two goals in its four consecutive matches against top-10 opposition and just one goal from open play
- The Cavaliers are 1-0-1 against the top 3 this season
- The Cavaliers achieved double-digit shot totals for the 11th time in their 12 games this season
- Virginia outshot Duke by a margin of 12-10 and 6-3 in the second half
- The match featured just three total shots on goal – two for Virginia and one for Duke
- The Cavaliers are one of three teams all season to take a point from Duke
Virginia will hit the road next week for another ACC battle with reigning national champions No. 23 Clemson on Friday (Oct. 15). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.