Virginia soccer stages dramatic comeback to defeat rival Hokies

Mike Zarrilli

Just twenty minutes away from a devastating loss at the hands of the hapless Hokies, the Wahoos refocused and grabbed a dramatic overtime win.

Lost in the disappoint football loss this weekend, was an important win for the futbol soccer team. Playing a Virginia Tech squad that remains winless (0-5-1) in the ACC, the Hoos got off to a slow start, falling behing 2-0. That didn't stop the Hoos, who refused to have their Senior Night at Klockner Stadium spoiled; Virginia stormed back to grab an overtime win and improve to 8-6-1 (2-4 ACC).

The Hokies scored once in the first half and again 55 minutes in. It was 15 minutes later when UVA started to claw back, when Marcus Salandy-Defour chipped in his second goal of the year. And it was senior Will Bates who drove home the equalizer for his 10th goal of the season and 44th in his career, which moved him into 7th in the program's all-time list.

With just 12 seconds remaining in the first overtime period, Zach Carroll headed home the golden goal, sealing the win and sending the team into the student section to celebrate.

Coach George Gelnovatch was pleased with the effort, telling VirginiaSports, "We played inspired in the second half, and getting that first goal got the crowd into it, which really ignited us. For this young group to do what they did tonight says a lot to me. We had to push every button in the book, but they responded."

Avoiding an upset was vital for the squad, which has a middling record, mostly because of a high strength of schedule. Despite coming into last week at 6-6-1, Virginia was 13th in the nation in RPI, sitting just in front of #14 UNC, then 11-1-1. New RPI rankings will be released this afternoon.

Virginia has two more chances to get ready for the postseason, both on the road. The Hoos travel to play a tough BC team on Friday before finishing at NC State the following week. With two wins to finish the year, the team would still have an outside chance of hosting a first-round ACC tournament match, though it currently sits in 7th place at 6 points.

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