CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s soccer team (3-1) hosted No. 20 Maryland (1-2-1) for the first time in nearly a decade at Klöckner Stadium on Monday night (Sept. 4). On the back of an impressive team performance and a penalty save from Holden Brown, Virginia secured a 2-1 victory over its longtime rivals.
13’ Virginia —Afonso (PK)
14’ Maryland —Copetti (Stewart-Baynes)
18’ Virginia — Thiam
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Cavaliers were relentless in the attacking third from the opening kick as Virginia put a suffocating amount of pressure on the Maryland back line with and without possession of the ball.
- After a pair of scoring chances failed to materialize, the Cavaliers broke through as Umberto Pelà was taken down inside the area earning a Virginia penalty. It was Leo Afonso who converted from the spot to put the Cavaliers up 1-0.
- It took all of a minute for the Terrapins to find the equalizing goal as a high-arching cross from Kimani Stewart-Baynes found the head of Stefan Copetti who nudged it past Holden Brown to level the playing field with just 14 minutes played.
- The goals kept coming quickly. In the 18th minute of play, Mouhameth Thiam capitalized on a heavy touch from the Maryland center back and found himself in on goal. With a swing of the left foot, Thiam thumped the ball past Mikah Seger to put Virginia back on top.
- Virginia thought it had scored a third when Stephen Annor slammed his attempt off the post in the 40th minute of play, but the half would end with Virginia leading 2-1.
- The second half was not without its chances. Annor and Afonso each had their chances, but neither was able to put the ball past the Maryland goalkeeper.
- With 20 minutes to play in the match, the Virginia defense was tested heavily by a persistent Maryland attack. Will Citron and Parker Sloan had an immense presence within the Cavalier defense ask each dealt with dangerous Terrapin chances with impressive skill and composure.
17' COME ONNNNNNN
Mo Thiam fires us back into the lead with his first goal as a Cavalier 🔥
— Virginia Men's Soccer (@UVAMenSoccer) September 4, 2023
— Virginia Men's Soccer (@UVAMenSoccer) September 5, 2023
FROM HEAD COACH GEORGE GELNOVATCH
“Right from the start we really grabbed control of the game for just about all of the first half. In fact, I thought we could have had another goal in that first half. In the second half as well, Stephen Annor was on a breakaway and Leo had some looks. We couldn’t get that goal that gives us a bit of separation, but we went through 20 minutes or so of having to defend. You never want to do that, but it’s a really good exercise. I’m just super happy to get the result.”
- Leo Afonso scored his second goal of the season, each came from penalty kicks
- Afonso has scored or assisted in all four matches this season
- Mouhameth Thiam recorded his first goal as a Cavalier, which served as a game-winner
- Thiam has scored or assisted in three out of four matches this season
- All three goals in the match took place within a five-minute span
- Holden Brown made a crucial penalty saves to go with his total of four
- Brown joins Joey Batrouni as two Virginia goalkeepers with penalty saves this season
- Virginia took 16 shots compared to Maryland’s 13
- A total of seven yellow cards were assessed in the match (Virginia 4, Maryland 3)
- Virginia records its first win over Maryland since the 2019 season
- It is Virginia’s first victory over the Terrapins at Klöckner Stadium in 12 years (10/7/2011)
Virginia is back in action Friday (Sept. 8) as the Cavaliers hit the road for the first time this season. The Cavaliers will face off with Duke in its ACC opener where head coach George Gelnovatch will look to earn his 100th career ACC victory.
Highlights from Virginia's 2-1 win over No. 20 Maryland 9.4.23