Virginia Scores Three Unanswered Goals to Advance to the ACC Men's Soccer Semifinals
Nov. 12, 2008
CARY, N.C. - Brian Ownby delivered two goals in the closing minutes of Friday night's last Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Soccer Championship quarterfinal match at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., lifting fourth-seeded Virginia to a 4-2 win over fifth-seeded Duke.
Matt Poole also scored twice for the Cavaliers (10-7-1), who earned the right to face top-seeded Wake Forest in Friday's 8 p.m. semifinal match. Virginia dropped 2-0 decision to the Demon Deacons in its regular-season finale Nov. 7.
Duke (10-7-2) led 2-1 at halftime, but couldn't sustain the edge as Virginia scored three unanswered goals in the second half. Ownby's first goal with 11:24 to play broke a 2-2 tie and put the Cavaliers on the path to the semifinals.
"Tonight felt really good," said Virginia coach George Gelnovatch. "There was a stretch in the first half when we scored and it felt good to get things started. But then there was a stretch when they scored. We had a good talk at halftime and the team responded well."
Virginia got on the board at the 27:57 mark of the opening half, when Poole drove a penalty kick past Duke keeper Brendan Fitzgerald.
The Blue Devils tied the match with 14:48 remaining in the half when senior defender Darrius Barnes headed in a free-kick pass from ACC Player of the Year Mike Grella. The goal, like that of Virginia's Poole earlier, was Barnes' first of the season.
Grella gave Duke the lead less than six minutes later, taking Cole Grossman's pass and sending it home his 14th goal of the year from 12 yards out. The score put the Blue Devils in front 2-1 with 8:58 showing on the first-half clock.
Poole came back with his second successful penalty kick with just over 34 minutes remaining in the match to even the score at 2-all and set up Virginia's strong finish.
Fitzgerald preserved the tie score with 27 minutes to play with an acrobatic block of a breakaway attempt by the Cavaliers' Ownby. But Ownby got another chance as the game clock wound under 12 minutes. Taking pin-point passes from Ross LaBauex and Jimmy Simpson on another break, Ownby drilled a low running kick into the left corner of the goal to put Virginia back in front.
Ownby struck again with 6:07 left, taking the pass from Hunter Jumper on another break and sending another shot home for a 4-2 lead and breathing room.
All the same, Duke coach John Kerr found little fault with his team's overall effort.
"I thought we were excellent tonight," Kerr said. When we were up 2-1, we didn't get that elusive third goal. We're a bit thin and that might have hurt us tonight, especially that we didn't have our starting 11 out there. Both teams were intense. We made a couple of crucial errors, but effort and attitude were spot on."
Semifinal action will begin on Friday, Nov. 14, with games slated at 5:30 and 8 p.m. The championship game will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. All games are available online through ACCSelect.com, while the championship game will be nationally televised on Fox Sports Net. The ACC men's soccer awards ceremony will be held immediately following the title game.