Virginia men's soccer has earned a spot in the College Cup for the last two seasons, lifting the National Championship last year; American has not qualified for the NCAA tournament in ten years. However, on Tuesday night the Eagles were the better team. American beat the seven-time NCAA champions 1-0 at Klockner Stadium, ending the 'Hoos perfect run in their non-conference schedule.
After starting the season only conceding four goals in its first seven matches, the 'Hoos have allowed eight goals in the last five. Against Louisville and Portland the offense was able to bail out the Wahoos' back four, on Tuesday that was not the case.
The Cavaliers had far from the ideal start. American took the early lead after Joe Iraola hit a remarkable strike from outside the box to the far post, handing the Eagles the 1-0 lead after just 12 minutes. Edward Opoku almost equalized immediately from the restart, but the Eagles were able to clear it in front of goal.
RELATED STORY: Loss to American a Wake Up Call for UVa Men's Soccer
American had plenty of chances in the first half to add to their lead, while the 'Hoos best chance came from a Patrick Foss free kick, which found the foot of Nicko Corriveau, but the midfielder was surrounded by a sea of red, and the ball was eventually cleared before any damage was done. American ended up out-shooting the Cavs 7-4 in the first half.
In the second half, Virginia had a couple of chances to tie it up, but American keeper Dylan Hobert was having a great night in between the posts. He made two incredible back-to-back saves, where both Derrick Etienne and Pablo Aguilar hit great strikes from outside the box forcing Hobert to push the ball over the bar.
To help out his men up front, Gelnovatch made the decision to move right back Marcus Salandy-Defour to the middle of the attack-moving Edward Opoku to the wing. That move almost proved to be the difference for the Wahoos with Salandy-Defour having two quality chances halfway through the second half, and Opoku hitting the right post with just over ten minutes to go. But in the end Hobert was having too good of a night in front of the net, and the Wahoos could not find that final ball.
The win snapped UVa's 11-game winning streak over American. George Gelnovatch's men will now turn their attention towards Pittsburgh on Friday night. The match is scheduled to kick off at 8 P.M. at Klockner- an hour later than normal.
Gelnovatch talks about the loss in the video above.