Earlier in the season, the men's soccer team topped the nationally ranked No. 2 Wake Forest 1-0 on the road. Last night, the sixth-seeded 'Hoos proved that the victory had not been a fluke, bouncing the top-seeded Demon Deacons from the ACC tournament, 0-0 (5-4 PKs). This marks Virginia's seventh straight shut-out of the season, and second straight ACC Championship appearance. Full press release follows.
Virginia was unbeaten in 12 previous Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Soccer Championship matches against Wake Forest entering Friday’s contest at WakeMed Soccer Park. The top-seeded Demon Deacons did all they could to end that streak in the night’s first semifinal game, but the fifth-seeded Cavaliers prevailed, advancing to Sunday’s championship game with a 5-4 edge on penalty kicks.
Regulation and two overtime periods were not enough to determine the victor on a blustery night at WakeMed. The teams traded PKs, with both teams making four-of-five before Virginia (13-3-3) secured the berth in the championship game for the second straight year. UVa midfielder Neil Bartow gave the Cavaliers the advantage on the first kick of the sudden victory shootout period. Virginia goalkeeper Diego Restapo then made the deciding save, deflecting a shot by the Demon Deacons’ Andy Lubahn.
"We’re obviously pleased to advance to the finals again this year," said Virginia coach George Gelnovatch. "I thought it was a game of halves. I thought the first half we had a majority of the play and the better chances and I think, obviously, in the second half Wake had more of the ball and the chances. (In the first overtime period) our mentality was just to get through that and I think by the last 10 minutes, teams were just tired. When you get into postseason, teams are working on penalty kicks – at least we’ve been working on them – and our guys executed well tonight.
"Virginia out-shot Wake Forest, 13-8, including a 7-1 edge in the first half. Wake Forest then tallied four shots to Virginia’s two in the second half as the teams struggled with a strong wind.
"It’s a typical ACC Tournament," said Wake Forest head coach Jay Vidovich. "It’s a Friday night, semifinal game with Wake Forest and (Virginia) showing up. It’s usually rainy, windy and (bad) weather, and unfortunately UVa advances."
Sixth-ranked Virginia extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games. The Cavaliers will play the winner of the second semifinal round game between Boston College and NC State in the ACC Championship Game at 1 p.m. Sunday. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Fox Sports South, the New England Sports Network and Sun Sports.
The nation’s third-ranked team, Wake Forest (14-3-3) will await Monday evening’s NCAA selection show to find out it when and where it will next play.