DURHAM, N.C. – Despite controlling the majority of possession as well as pace of play, the Virginia men’s soccer team (3-2) fell to No. 10 Duke (4-0-1) by a score of 2-0 in its ACC opener on Friday night (Sept. 8) at Koskinen Stadium.

Goals (Assists):
26’ Duke —Bjornsson
61 ‘ Duke — Mesalles (Bjornsson)


  • The game was wide open in the early minutes as each team found its way into dangerous areas early. Holden Brown was tested early as the Blue Devils attacked with numbers in transition. A shot from Ruben Mesalles was destined for the roof of the goal, but a smart stop from Brown ensured it sailed over the crossbar.
  • Duke opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Brown leaped to collect an arched ball sent into the area. Brown got his hands to the ball, but it was jarred free and into the open where Ulfur Bjornsson was there to give the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead.
  • In the later stages of the first half, Virginia began to tilt the possession battle back into its favor. The Cavaliers relentlessly put balls into dangerous areas but could not find the finishing touch as Virginia went into the break down 1-0.
  • That momentum carried into second half as Virginia bossed possession and dictated the pace of play. However, in the 61st minute, Duke doubled its advantaged against the run of play. It was Ruben Mesalles who slotted his chance inside the near post to make it 2-0 in favor of Duke.

“We made some mistakes tonight and they cost us. I think we did a good job of keeping them out of dangerous areas and gave up just three shots on goal, but it was those two mistakes that killed us. In the end this is a learning experience for us. We will regroup and be ready to move forward on Tuesday.”


  • The Cavaliers were outshot by Duke by a margin of 11-5
  • Duke put three shots on target while Virginia put two on frame
  • The teams each took a total of six corner kicks
  • Virginia used a total of 10 substitutes over the course of the match
  • The Cavaliers conceded a goal in the second half for just the second time this season
  • Virginia falls to 42-41-11 against Duke all-time
  • Virginia was held scoreless for the first time this season
  • It was the first time Virginia has failed to score in 12 matches dating back to 2022
  • Duke was the last team to hold the Cavaliers without a goal in a 0-0 draw at Klöckner Stadium last season (10/7/22)
  • Garrett Socas made his Cavalier debut at CDM

Up Next:

Virginia is back in action Tuesday (Sept. 12) as the Cavaliers hit the road to take on James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.