After a three-game stretch where the Cavaliers lost twice and tied the third game, the Virginia men’s soccer team needed a solid performance in its next game to get the season back on track. It was a tall task, though, as the Hoos traveled to Blacksburg to play the 17th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies in the Commonwealth Clash on Friday night.
Virginia fell behind early in the second half, but after a brilliant goal from freshman Asparuh Slavov, UVA largely outplayed Virginia Tech for the remainder of the match. The Cavaliers had more corner kicks, shots, and shots on goal than the Hokies.
However, the Hoos could not find the net for the second time and eventually, Virginia Tech’s Jacob Labovitz scored his second goal of the game in double overtime and the Hokies (3-1-2, 1-1-0 ACC) defeated Virginia (2-3-1, 0-2-0 ACC) by a score of 2-1.
In the first half, Virginia took seven shots and Virginia Tech took five shots, but none of them found their mark, as both goalies made several stellar saves.
Virginia Tech goalkeeper Ben Martino made five saves in the first half and had eight saves in the entire match. Holden Brown made three saves on five shots on goal for the Hoos.
In the 47th minute, Virginia Tech struck first on a goal from Jacob Labovitz. Kyle McDowell took a free kick from the right wing and Labovitz got under it and headed the ball past Brown and inside the right post to give the Hokies the lead.
Just over ten minutes later, Virginia found an equalizer on the first collegiate goal scored by Asparuh Slavov. Martino attempted to clear the ball out of Virginia Tech’s end but Slavov intercepted it. From several yards beyond the box, Slavov turned and fired a blazing right-footed strike that perfectly found its mark in the top right corner of the goal to tie the game in the 58th minute.
Virginia continued to play aggressively in the second half and had multiple chances for a game-winner late in the second half. UVA outshot Virginia Tech 15-12 and had five corner kicks to just one for the Hokies.
Neither team could find the back of the net through the end of regulation, the first ten-minute overtime period, and nearly the entire second overtime period.
With just three minutes remaining until the match would have ended in a tie, Virginia Tech scored the golden goal on Jacob Labovitz’s second goal of the match. In the 108th minute, Pol Monells crossed the ball from deep in the right corner and found Labovitz in the box who headed it into the back right corner of the cage once again for the game-winning goal.
With the loss, Virginia drops to 2-3-1 on the season and 0-2 in the ACC. UVA stays on the road and plays at JMU on Tuesday night.