Sep 2, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The 20th-ranked Virginia men's soccer team earned its first win of the 2013 season with a 2-0 triumph over No. 19 St. John's Monday evening at Klöckner Stadium. Playing its second ranked foe in four days, Virginia (1-1-0) bounced back and picked up a quality win over the Red Storm (1-1-0) after a suffering 2-1 loss to No. 10 Louisville last Friday.
"It was good to get back up and get a result tonight," Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. "That is the nice thing about this game is that three days later we can get back on the horse quick rather than waiting a week. St. John's is a playoff team. There is no question about it. It is a great win and it will mean something in the RPI later, which is why we scheduled the game in the first place. It also gives us a little bit of confidence going into the ACC next weekend."
Virginia freshman Jordan Allen (Rochester, N.Y.) had a big night in just his second college game, recording a goal as well as an assist. He also forced a penalty kick after drawing a foul in the box early in the second half.
"You saw a little emergence today," Gelnovatch said of Allen. "Today was the first time that he consistently was a handful. He caused the PK, got the second goal for us and he gets better and better each game."
Brian James (So., Sunrise, Fla.) picked up the Cavaliers' first goal of the evening. Goalkeeper Jeff Gal (R-So., Bartlett, Ill.) claimed his first win and clean sheet in a Virginia uniform; he recorded one save, but also made another key stop in the second half following a deflection in the box.
After controlling play for much of the first half, Virginia got on the board in the 21st minute. Allen sent a ball in from just outside the left side of the box near the end line. Diaz failed to corral the ball, and James took the rebound and punched it past Diaz from about five yards out for his first goal of the year.
UVa had a great chance to stretch its lead in the 47th minute when Allen made a nifty move just inside the top of the box and then was pulled down by a St. John's defender. Todd Wharton (So., Glen Allen, Va.) took the penalty kick but was denied by a diving Diaz.
The Cavaliers got some breathing room in the 82nd minute. Allen picked off a long pass across the field from about 40 yards out, then out-ran the center back and ripped a shot past Diaz. It marked the first goal of Allen's young college career.
Virginia held a 7-5 edge in shots as well as a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks. St. John's picked up 19 fouls to nine for UVa. Diaz made a pair of saves for SJU.
Virginia opens ACC play at 8 p.m. Friday when it travels to Clemson. ESPN3 will have a webcast of the match. The Cavaliers then have a week off before traveling to Wake Forest on Sept. 13.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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