Virginia Returns to NCAA College Cup

(Photo courtesy of Virginia Athletics)

Virginia Advances to Second Straight NCAA College Cup

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Virginia men's soccer team advanced to its second straight NCAA College Cup after winning a penalty-kick shootout, 5-4, against No. 8 seed Georgetown Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 NCAA Championship.

The Cavaliers silenced the Shaw Field sellout crowd of 2,232 with a Todd Wharton (Jr., Glen Allen, Va.) equalizer in the final minute of the second half, and the two sides played to a 1-1 draw following two overtime periods. 

The No. 16-seeded Cavaliers move on to play unseeded UMBC next Friday (Dec. 12) at 5 or 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the NCAA College Cup in Cary, N.C. UVa is making its 12th NCAA College Cup appearance - fifth-most in Division I history. 

"In my time here, that was one of the gutsiest performances I've seen," Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. "We did a great job of understanding the crowd, the field and opponent, and dealing with all of this, and tying it with 52 seconds left and then staying tight in overtime - this team had gone into overtime twice and won quickly, and we knew that. We did a great job with all of that. 

"It was a great atmosphere. My hat's off to the Georgetown fans - I thought they were great and loud. This was a really cool environment today. They handled themselves really well." 

Virginia (12-6-3) advanced through its second straight road match in the NCAA tournament - a first in program history. The Cavaliers knocked out top-seeded Notre Dame last Sunday on the road with a 1-0 win. Georgetown finishes its season with a 14-4-5 record.

UNC Men's Soccer Eliminated By UCLA On Penalties

LOS ANGELES — Earl Edwards Jr. saved Warren Marshall’s penalty in the eighth round of a shootout to send No. 2 seed UCLA through to the NCAA Men’s College Cup after a 3-3 draw with North Carolina Saturday evening at Drake Stadium. Carolina, which played more than 90 minutes with 10 men after a straight red, rallied from a 3-1 second-half deficit on goals by Tyler Engel and Andy Craven to force penalties. Omar Holness' first-half free kick goal gave UNC a 1-0 lead before the Bruins scored three times in six minutes after halftime.

Carolina (15-5-2) had the upper hand in the early going before referee Alex Gorin showed Alex Olofson a straight red card after a challenge near midfield in the 20th minute. UCLA (13-4-5) benefitted from the extra man immediately, and Brendan Moore was forced into several saves from close range.

It appeared that the teams would head to halftime with no score, but Alan Winn won a free kick in a dangerous area on 40 minutes. With the opportunity to go for goal from the right side, Holness made no mistake with a low line drive into the bottom left corner to give Carolina an unexpected 1-0 lead.

The Bruins threatened early and often to open the second half, with Leo Stolz ringing a free kick off the woodwork in the 58th minute. The man advantage finally paid off in the 69th minute as Brian Iloski followed his own shot and converted from close range to make it 1-1.

Christian Chavez made it 2-1 just moments later, and Abu Danladi’s goal on the counter saw the Bruins go up two in the 74th minute.

But just as quickly as Carolina fell behind, the Tar Heels rallied. Engel capitalized on a goal mouth scramble after a corner kick in the 78th minute to make it 3-2 before Raby George’s inch-perfect through ball to Craven was turned home for the equalizer 24 seconds later.

It was an incredible turn of events, but it took more heroics from Moore to force the penalty shootout. The senior keeper stopped Andrew Tusaazemajja’s free header in the 95th minute before coming up big again after a corner late in the first period of overtime. After 10 more scoreless minutes, it was up to a shootout to decide the final team in the Men’s College Cup.

Moore saved Iloski’s effort to open the shootout before eight straight kickers converted, with George, Rob Lovejoy, Verneri Valimaa and David Octoberfinding the net for the Tar Heels. But Edwards saved Glen Long’s potential winner in the fifth round and then stopped Marshall in the eighth to send the Bruins through in dramatic fashion.