Virginia Men’s Soccer Downs Wright State, 3-2
Three Cavaliers score in first half
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s soccer team scored three goals in the first half to top Wright State, 3-2, Tuesday evening at Klöckner Stadium in the Cavaliers’ final non-conference match of the regular season. Freshman Marcus Salandy-Defour (Kensington, Md.) scored a goal and added an assist as UVa improved to 7-6-1; Wright State fell to 3-9-1.
“We created some chances and scored three great goals in the first half,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “We had them on their heels and had a lot of positives in that respect. We got a win, which is the most important piece tonight.”
Wright State got out to a quick start with a goal in the sixth minute. The Raiders forced four consecutive corner kicks and made the final one count when Derek Zuniga’s corner bounded off the head of a UVa defender and into the goal.
Virginia countered with three consecutive scores. The Cavaliers nearly scored in the third minute when Brian James (Fr., Sunrise, Fla.) hit the post with a low shot, but Will Bates (Sr., Chester, Va.) avenged the close call with a goal in the 12th minute. After Scott Thomsen (Fr., Brick, N.J.) tapped a ball through the WSU defense, Salandy-Defour hit a low, short cross across the box and found Bates, who ripped the shot past goalkeeper Craig Feehan. It marked Bates’ team-leading ninth goal of the year and his 43rd career score, as he moved into sole possession of seventh place all-time at UVa.
Salandy-Defour was on the scoring end in the 19th minute. After a long serve down the field by Zach Carroll (Fr., Grand Blanc, Mich.), Salandy-Defour out-ran the Raiders’ defenders, and chipped a one-timer high and over Feehan into the far corner of the net for his first college goal.
The Cavaliers added the eventual game-winning goal in the 40th minute. Following a Thomsen corner kick, the ball caromed out to the top of the box, where Eric Bird (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) cranked a shot to the upper 90 for his first score of the season.
The Raiders cut the lead to one shortly before halftime when Greg Marchand headed in Zuniga’s free kick.
After an offensive first half in which UVa out-shot Wright State, 12-9, there were just eight shots taken in the second half. UVa goalkeeper Matt Miscione (R-Jr., Ashburn, Va.) made a terrific save with just over 10 minutes left after a Cavalier defensive breakdown allowed Brett Elder to break loose and unleash a rocket from just outside the box.
In his first career start at Virginia, Miscione made three saves. Feehan made a pair of saves in the first half, while Jacob Bye saved three shots in the second half for Wright State.
UVa out-shot Wright State, 17-12, while both teams amassed five corner kicks. WSU was whistled for 14 fouls, while UVa committed a dozen fouls.
Virginia faces Virginia Tech at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the regular-season home finale. The game will be televised by the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks (Comcast SportsNet in the Virginia area), and the first 3,500 fans in attendance with receive a Virginia Soccer scarf. It also is Cavman’s Crew Day, and the fourth set of trading cards will be handed out.