CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — An inspired two-goal performance from Axel Ahlander powered the No. 14 Virginia men’s soccer team (9-3-3, 4-2-1 ACC) to a convincing victory over High Point (8-2-4, 5-0-1 Big South) by a score of 3-1 to close out its non-conference slate on Tuesday night (Oct. 24) at Klöckner Stadium.
32’ Virginia — Thiam
46’ Virginia — Ahlander (Wiese)
52’ Virginia — Ahlander (Gashi, Wiese)
60’ High Point — Pineda (Krueger)
How it Happened:
- Quality chances were scarce for both teams in the early stages of the half, but Virginia created the best scoring opportunity of the first quarter of an hour when Mouhameth Thiam played Stephen Annor in on goal with a clever header. The chance, however, was smothered by the High Point goalkeeper coming off his line.
- High Point registered a dangerous opportunity in the 22nd minute when a cross was deflected into the air before looping towards the face of goal. A composed Joey Batrouni dealt with the danger by pushing the ball over the crossbar.
- Virginia broke through in the 32nd minute of play Axel Ahlander won the ball back for Virginia in a dangerous area. Thiam recovered the loose ball and drove with intent to the penalty area. Cutting onto his right foot, he curled a low shot around a High Point defender and into the back of the net to give the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead which they would take into the halftime break.
- Just minutes after the whistle sounded to begin the second half, Virginia had already found the back of the net once again. A free kick from Paul Wiese fell to the feet of Ahlander in the penalty area where the senior finished his chance to double the lead.
- Less than 10 minutes later, a long cross from Reese Miller was controlled by Wiese on the right wing. A pass back to the feet of Albin Gashi was immediately directed back into the center of the penalty area where Ahlander was there to get on the end of things once more for 3-0.
- High Point pulled one back just past the hour mark when Brendan Krueger slipped a pass behind the Virginia back line where Tony Pineda was there to slot it home.
From Head Coach George Gelnovatch:
“We scored three goals against a really good team tonight. I knew this would be a tough game for us coming off two very good ACC wins with the Carolina game right around the corner, so I was worried about this game. Getting three goals in the manner that we did was a professional performance. It wasn’t our best performance, but getting the win tonight means a lot.”
- Axel Ahlander netted his first two goals of the season, scoring for the second and third time as a Cavalier
- The pair of goals marks the first brace of Ahlander’s collegiate career
- Ahlander’s first goal served as a game-winner marking the second of his career
- Ahlander had previously scored four goals in his career before recording two against High Point
- Mouhameth Thiam has scored in three of his last five matches
- All eight of Thiam’s goal involvements this season have tied the score or taken the lead
- Paul Wiese matched a single-game career-high with two assists
- Wiese has totaled seven assists on the season surpassing his career-high of six from his freshman campaign
- Virginia scored three or more goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season
- The Cavaliers have scored three goals on four occasions this season
With the Win:
- Virginia improves to 9-3-3 on the season and is unbeaten in its last seven matches
- Over the course of its unbeaten streak, Virginia has outscored its opponents by a margin of 14-4
- The Cavaliers hold a record of 8-1-1 at Klöckner Stadium and are unbeaten in their last seven on their home patch
- The Cavaliers improve to 4-3-1 against the Panthers all-time
Virginia will be back in action on Friday night (Oct. 27) when the Cavaliers host No. 10 North Carolina. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and the match will serve as senior night for the Cavaliers.
Highlights from No. 14 Virginia's 3-1 win over High Point 10.24.23