RICHMOND, Va. – Cameron Chavira (Jr., Roanoke, Va.) scored his first career goal just over two minutes into double overtime to push the Virginia men’s soccer team to a 1-0 triumph at VCU Tuesday evening in front of a record 2,242 spectators at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Va. Chavira’s golden goal helped Virginia (5-3-1) hand VCU (4-1-2) its first loss of the year.
“I think we’re making progress,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “We tied in our last overtime game and this one we one against a very good VCU team which was rested. It was on the road with their biggest crowd in stadium history. It was a very good performance in terms of gutting it out. We’re tired and banged up, and we found a way to get one chance in overtime, and we finished it.”
While neither team registered a strong scoring chance in an uneventful first overtime stanza, Virginia made its first opportunity in double overtime count when Marcus Douglas (R-So., Washington, D.C.) sliced a cross from the right flank to the middle of the box to find a wide open Chavira, who tapped it home from five yards out for the winning score. Douglas was credited with his first assist of 2012 as the Cavaliers earned their first overtime win of the year in four attempts (1-2-1).
VCU controlled the run of play for most of the first half, although UVa got two booming shots from Will Bates (Sr., Chester, Va.), but VCU goalkeeper Andrew Wells made great diving saves on each.
The Rams put five shots on goal in the first half, with Spencer LaCivita (So., Raleigh, N.C.) making four saves. The Cavaliers were credited with a team save in the 31st minute; after LaCivita deflected a Jason Johnson shot, Johnson took the rebound and flicked a shot over LaCivita but Matt Brown (So., Charlotte, N.C.) knocked the ball away in front of the goal line to keep the stalemate intact.
VCU again was thwarted by LaCivita in the 75th minute. Joseph Haboush made a beautiful slip pass into the box to Devon Fisher to create a one-on-one situation, but LaCivita charged forward and made a tremendous sliding save to stuff Fisher. LaCivita also made a diving save on a Mario Herrera Meraz shot in the 67th minute.
LaCivita was credited with seven saves, one off his career best. Wells made five saves for VCU. Bates took a team-high four shots (three on goal) for Virginia, while Fisher racked up six shots for the Rams.
VCU finished with a 19-15 edge in shots and put seven shots on goal, compared to six for UVa. The Rams took seven corner kicks, while UVa earned three corners. The Cavaliers committed 16 fouls, while VCU was whistled for 15.
With three starters out because of injuries, UVa went deep into its bench and played 16 players in the game. Freshman Jordan Poarch (Middletown, Del.) made his first career start; all seven UVa rookies have earned at least one start now this season.
Virginia returns home at 7 p.m. Friday to take on Clemson in an ACC encounter.