CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — In a hard-fought battle that saw the Cavaliers take a lead into the 84th minute, the No. 9 Virginia men’s soccer team (10-3-4, 5-2-1 ACC) was eliminated from the ACC Tournament on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw with No. 22 Syracuse (8-3-7, 2-1-5 ACC) on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 5) at Klöckner Stadium.

Goals (Assists):
51’ Virginia — Afonso (Citron)
84’ Syracuse — Leveque (Boselli)

How it Happened:

  • Virginia’s best chance of the first half came courtesy of a linkup between Paul Wiese and Mouhameth Thiam. After slipping Thiam through the Syracuse defense, Wiese timed his run into the Syracuse box with perfection where he received the return pass with room to shoot. The attempt, however, was lifted over the crossbar as the game remained scoreless.
  • Joey Batrouni put forward an inspired performance having been tested on many occasions. He first stepped up to the plate making a pair of back-to-back saves to keep the game scoreless early on. He finished the first half with three saves as the teams went into the break at 0-0.
  • Making his first appearance in three games, Leo Afonso broke through in the 51st minute to put the Cavaliers on top. After squaring a pass inside the penalty area to Will Citron, the ball bounced back to Afonso where he was able to finish his chance at the far post and give Virginia a 1-0 advantage.
  • With a one-goal lead, the Cavaliers settled in to defend for a large stretch of the second half. Virginia kept its shape well while Joey Batrouni made his presence felt in goal coming up with eight second-half saves.
  • Syracuse, however, found its equalizing goal in the 84th minute as Mateo Leveque found the back of the net to even the score at 1-1.
  • The teams played two overtime periods in which the Cavaliers created a pair of chances while Batrouni added two more saves to his tally, sending the game into a penalty shootout to decide which team would advance to the semifinal round.
  • In penalties, Batrouni was once again there for Virginia to deny the first attempt Syracuse attempt. However, the Orange would go on to advance by a margin of 4-3.

From Head Coach George Gelnovatch:

“We were up a goal today, and we have been pretty good at closing out games down the stretch. In terms of them tying it, that got away from us. All you can ask from your goalkeeper in a penalty shootout is to make one save and we have to execute our penalties. We didn’t today and that’s disappointing. Syracuse is a very good team. They started stringing some passes together and we started countering against them. I think the crowd saw an entertaining game and we just came up on the short end of it.

Additional Notes:

  • Joey Batrouni finished the match with 13 saves on the night—just one shy of the Virginia single-game record. (14, Mark Aronson, 10/29/1980)
  • Batrouni’s total shatters his career-high of eight which he set at Coastal Carolina (vs HPU 8/9/2021)
  • Leo Afonso made his first appearance since coming on as a substitute against Pitt (10/13/2023)
  • Afonso scored his first goal since converting a penalty against Maryland (9/4/2023)
  • Afonso has found the back of the net in each of Virginia’s last four meetings with Syracuse
  • Freshman Brendan Lambe made his first career start playing in central midfield
  • For the second straight season, Virginia’s goalkeeper has recorded 9+ saves in the ACC quarterfinal round (Holden Brown, 11/6/2022)
  • Virginia is eliminated from the ACC Tournament at the quarterfinal stage for the first time since 2016 (had advanced in each of its last four quarterfinal appearances)
  • The match marks the second consecutive season in which Virginia’s tournament run has been ended in penalty kicks at the hands of Syracuse (11/9/2022)
  • In 2022 Virginia also took a one-goal lead late into the game when Syracuse equalized in the same exact minute (84’) to send the game into overtime and penalties.

Unbeaten Streak Continues

  • In postseason play, games ending in a shootout officially count as draws by NCAA rule. The only exception occurs in the NCAA final.
  • The draw means Virginia remains unbeaten in its last nine games
  • Over the course of that stretch, UVA has outscored its opponents by a margin of 16-5
  • UVA remains unbeaten at home in its last 10 games at Klöckner Stadium
  • The draw snaps a four-game winning streak for the Cavaliers

Up Next:

The 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship bracket will be announced Monday (Nov. 13) prior to the first round of competition.