Virginia Defeats Vermont in NCAA 2nd Round in Double Overtime

photo courtesy - Virginia Sports
photo courtesy – Virginia Sports

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – After 103 minutes of back and forth play, the University of Virginia men’s soccer team beat the Vermont Catamounts (14-7-1) 2-1 in double over time with a by golden goal from sophomore Pablo Aguilar in round two of the NCAA Tournament at Klöckner Stadium on Sunday. As the number 12 seed in the tournament, Virginia (11-3-5) will advance to face No. 5 seed Stanford, who are the reining NCAA tournament champions, Sunday in California.

What started off as a slow game, quickly picked up as an onslaught of fouls were called on Vermont and play became competitive. Midfielders Charlie Defeo and Mikel Kabala both received yellow cards of caution in the first half, which changed the momentum of the game.

With only four shots from both teams, the first half ended scoreless and both teams headed to the locker room to evaluate their play.

“I give Vermont credit. Their game plan was to sit in and make it tough for us and they are very good at it,” said Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch. “It was really tough for us to break them down in the first half, especially with the wind in our faces.”

The second half was well underway as UVA pushed forward to add pressure to Vermont’s defense. The visiting sideline became rowdy and the referee issued a yellow card to the Vermont team as a whole. Soon after, the Catamounts intercepted a Virginia transition in the 62nd minute when Brian Wright sent a short ball to Jon Amar Barodal, who scored inside the far post. This was his third goal of the season and Wright earned his 12th assist to take Vermont 1-0 over the Cavaliers.

Vermont’s victory was quickly suppressed when the referee issued a second yellow card in the 67th minute to Charlie DeFeo, after taking down Aguilar, which in turn sent him out of the game, leaving the Catamounts with just 10 men on the field.

In the 76th minute Virginia capitalized on another Vermont foul when Senior Midfielder Paddy Foss scored off of a free kick to capture his third goal of the season and tie the game 1-1.

[On Vermont] They put up a great effort and my hat goes off to them, said Gelnovatch. “However, I think they did pay the price for being a little bit over aggressive with the second yellow card.”

Even with shots from Jean-Christophe Koffi and a corner kick from Foss in the last 15 minutes, both teams were unable to score and entered into overtime.

In the first overtime period, Vermont came close to a golden goal when Bernard Yeboah shot the ball low from outside the box, but Virginia goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell made a late dive to save the shot.

In the 103rd minute, Aguilar took the ball outside the box and snuck through the Vermont defenders to send the ball inside the right post to get the golden goal for the cavaliers. This was his seventh goal of the season and he has scored the game-winning goal in UVA’s last three upsets. This was also Virginia’s first overtime win of the 2016 season.

“When you get that first NCAA tournament win under your belt, it just puts wind in your sails,” said Gelnovatch. “Our perseverance and mental toughness, as well as the guys that came on made a difference. It was a great win for us.”



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