CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – On the back of an incredible performance from Holden Brown in goal, No. 14 Virginia (10-4-3, 5-1-2 ACC) kept its eighth clean sheet of the season to advance to the semifinal round of the ACC tournament following a 1-0 victory over No. 24 Pitt (8-4-5, 3-2-3 ACC) on a rainy Sunday evening at Klöckner Stadium.
21 – Virginia: Reese Miller (Leo Afonso, Daniel Mangarov)
HOW IT HAPPENED:
In the midst of a downpour, Brown set the tone for the match early as he came up with a diving stop after Pitt jumped out on the front foot early. Following the save, Virginia threatened to take the lead itself as Leo Afonso and Axel Ahlander registered a pair of shots coming just short of opening the scoring.
The Cavaliers quickly capitalized on their early chances in the 21st minute. Reese Miller, who scored his first career goal against Pitt earlier this season, found himself in a nearly identical situation. A low, diagonal ball was played by Mangarov to the feet of Afonso at the top of the box. With an intelligent flick from Afonso into the penalty area, Miller found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat as he fired his chance into the low corner to put the Cavaliers on top.
Virginia’s defense would continue to be tested throughout the match. Just minutes after the Cavaliers grabbed the lead, Pitt’s Michael Sullivan rocketed a shot off the crossbar coming mere inches from leveling the score.
In the midst of heavy pressure from the Panthers deep in Virginia’s end of the field, Pitt’s Rodrigo Almeida rifled an effort on goal from outside the penalty area but was denied by Brown. The ricochet fell to Pitt’s Lucas Rosa who again sent a ball towards the net but Brown punched it away to keep things level for Virginia.
With less than 10 minutes to play of the 90 minutes, Daniel Mangarov carried the ball across the top of the Pitt penalty area and stroked his shot just wide of the right post to narrowly miss doubling the Virginia lead.
FROM HEAD COACH GEORGE GELNOVATCH
“This was a very professional showing from our guys tonight. Pitt is a really good team, and very tough to beat once let alone twice in a season. We did a great job tonight using what we know about them to our advantage and get a win and move on.”
- Virginia defeats Pitt for the second time this season after a 3-1 road victory (Sept. 30)
- Reese Miller scored the second goal of his collegiate career
- Miller provided the game-winning goal in Virginia’s regular-season victory over Pitt
- Both of Miller’s two career goals have counted as game winners
- Leo Afonso and Daniel Magarov each tallied assists
- Mangarov and Afonso increase their season assist totals to four and lead the team in the category
- With Afonso and Miller’s goal connection was their second of the season – marking the first time a pair of cavaliers connected on a goal more than once this season
- Holden Brown recorded a season-high nine saves in goal
- The Cavaliers kept their eighth clean sheet of the season
- Virginia improves to 9-4-2 all-time against Pitt and 1-1 in ACC Tournament matches
- Virginia remains undefeated when the Cavaliers have scored the first goal in a match this season as it improves to 9-0
- The Cavaliers have a perfect record when Afonso scores or assists winning – UVA is 9-0 in those matches
- The victory is Virginia’s 5th against a top-25 opponent this season as UVA improves to 5-2-1 against ranked opposition
- Virginia will advance to the semifinal round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday (Nov. 9) where the Cavaliers will match up with the winner of a quarterfinal match between Syracuse and North Carolina.
- Depending on the outcome of the match, Virginia will either travel to second-seeded Syracuse, or host seventh-seeded North Carolina in the semifinal.
Highlights from Virginia's 1-0 ACC quarterfinal win over Pitt