The Virginia Cavaliers (6-5-1) returned to Klöckner Stadium on Friday following a defeat at the University of North Carolina to face off against Commonwealth rivals Virginia Tech (4-5-2).
The two sides found themselves in a defensive faceoff in the first half with each team having golden opportunities to find the back of the net. In the 9th minute of the match, Virginia Sophomore Nick Berghold sent in a cross in front of the goal to captain Nathaniel Crofts, but the Hokie defense forced the shot off target.
Crofts, who was recently drafted by the MLS team Toronto F.C., will leave the Cavalier program after four years to report to spring training camp in preparation for their season. Watch out for Crofts to compete for an opportunity to break into the rotation as a versatile attacker.
Four minutes later in the match, it was the Hokies who found themselves on the offensive, getting two wonderful chances that were ultimately ruined by the Cavalier defense. Irakoze Donasiyano continued to prove his defensive prowess by making a goal line save on a shot that found its way past the UVA keeper to prevent an early deficit.
Following the halftime break, the Hoos finally found their chance to break ahead, when in the 46th minute freshman Kaya Ignacio was left alone at the back post to score off of a perfectly placed cross from Nick Berghold. 10 minutes later, UVA took an opportunity to extend their lead, with sophomore Kevin Ogudugu ripping a shot from outside of the box, past the out-of-position Virginia Tech keeper. The Hoos would continue to apply defensive pressure on the Hokies for the rest of the half. In the closing minutes of the game, Virginia keeper Alex Rando made a diving save to preserve the clean sheet in the 2-0 Cavalier victory.
UVA men’s soccer will return to action in their first meeting against Central Arkansas (6-7-2) at Klöckner Stadium on March 23rd.