The Virginia Cavaliers men’s soccer team fell just short of winning its 8th national championship, falling to the Georgetown Hoyas in a penalty kick shootout in the title game Sunday night.
Senior Joe Bell scored the match’s first goal in the tenth minute to give the Cavaliers their only lead of the game. Georgetown’s Paul Rothrock tied the game just five minutes later and Daniel Wu gave the Hoyas the lead in the 21st minute. 35 minutes of gametime passed before Daniel Steedman was able to deliver the equalizer to knot the match at 2-2 in the 57th minute. Georgetown’s Derek Dodson gave the Hoyas the lead again in the 80th minute, before Virginia tied it once again on a goal from Daryl Dike with less than 5 minutes to play.
Despite featuring the top 2 ranked defenses in the nation, the six combined goals scored were the most in a national championship game since 1980.
Virginia was whistled for 23 fouls and Georgetown was called for 12. There were 10 yellow cards issued in the match, seven on Virginia and three on Georgetown, but no ejections.
Fatigue and physical defense cooled off the offenses in the overtime periods, as neither team scored in the 20 minutes of golden-goal extra time, sending the match to a penalty kick shootout to decide the champion.
Neither goalkeeper was able to record a save for the first 12 tries in the shootout, as both teams successfully converted their first six penalty kicks. Georgetown’s Aidan Rocha gave the Hoyas a 7-6 lead before goalkeeper Tomas Romero denied Axel Gunnarsson’s penalty kick to clinch Georgetown’s first national championship in program history.
Virginia ends its season with a record of 21-2-1, the most wins under head coach George Gelnovatch, and an ACC Championship.
Article recap by Matt Newton