CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Behind a heroic performance and an individual moment of brilliance off the bench from captain Leo Afonso, the No. 11 Virginia men’s soccer team (11-3-4, 5-2-1 ACC) bested FIU (10-5-4, 5-1-2 AAC) on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 19) at Klöckner Stadium to help Virginia advance to the third round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship.

Goals (Assists):
35’ Virginia — Afonso
40’ FIU — Dominguez (Skraep)
94’ Virginia — Afonso (Rome, Wiese)

How it Happened:

  • Leo Afonso entered the game as a substitute in the 26th minute and opened the scoring less than 10 minutes later. Mouhameth Thiam gained control of the ball deep inside the penalty area before a deflection across the face of goal fell right to the feet of Afonso who rolled the ball into the back of the net for 1-0.
  • The Cavalier advantage would last just five minutes before the Panthers found an equalizing goal. From his own end of the field, FIU center back Kasper Skraep, picked out Joao Domingues in the Virginia penalty area who leveled the score ahead of the halftime break.
  • Virginia took control of the game in the second half and created the better of the chances between the two teams but were ultimately unable to find the back of the net, despite an attempt from Will Citron that glanced wide of the goalpost.
  • Just under halfway into the first overtime period Afonso’s goal scoring prowess was on full display once again. Off a Paul Wiese corner kick that was headed on by Austin Rome, the Virginia captain executed a spectacular overhead kick to perfection to score his second of the game and fire Virginia into the third round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship.

From Head Coach George Gelnovatch:
“At this time of year in both the ACC tournament and the postseason, every team is good. This FIU team is a very good team and gave us a good game today. I am just proud of the effort of this team. We are a pretty young team and not a lot of them have been in the postseason and in these games. To get this win in the fashion that we did is really good for this team.”

Additional Notes:

  • Leo Afonso scored as a substitute for the second consecutive game after playing just 20 minutes over a stretch of nine games following an injury at JMU (9/12/23)
  • Afonso scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season becoming the third Cavalier to record a brace in 2023 joining Stephen Annor (9/16/23, 10/20/23) and Axel Ahlander (10/24/23)
  • Afonso played the most minutes in a game (68) since the JMU game
  • Paul Wiese recorded his eighth assist of the season—the most since Daryl Dike in 2019
  • Austin Rome recorded the first assist of his collegiate career setting up the game-winning goal
  • Each of Virginia’s last four postseason games have required overtime

NCAA Tournament Notes

  • Virginia advances in the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 2019 College Cup semifinal (vs. Wake Forest, W, 2-1)
  • Afonso is the first Cavalier to record two goals in an NCAA tournament game since Daryl Dike in the 2019 semifinal round
  • Virginia wins an NCAA tournament game in overtime for the first time since the 2019 quarterfinal round (vs SMU, W, 3-2)
  • Virginia improves to 68-34-6 in the NCAA tournament with a 52-19-3 mark at home

Unbeaten Streak Continues

  • With the win, Virginia is unbeaten in its last 10 games
  • Over the course of that stretch, UVA has outscored its opponents by a margin of 18-6
  • UVA remains unbeaten at home in its last 11 games at Klöckner Stadium

Up Next:
Virginia advances to the third round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship and will host the winner of a match between Indiana and 10th-seeded Wake Forest.

Highlights from No. 11 Virginia's 2-1 overtime victory over FIU