Sept. 13, 2013
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - After nearly rallying from a three-goal deficit in the final seven minutes of play, the Virginia men's soccer team dropped a 3-2 decision to No. 15 Wake Forest Friday evening at Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. Virginia (1-3, 0-2 ACC) out-shot the Demon Deacons (3-1, 2-0) 20-14 but was doomed by critical defensive blunders.
"We're paying for mistakes," Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. "In all of our losses, we have made mistakes that we've paid dearly for. We need to clean up those mistakes. On the flip side, we had a lot of the possession and showed a lot of character down the stretch and almost tied the game up. Moving forward we need to eliminate the mistakes and be more disciplined defensively so we keep teams off the board."
The Demon Deacons marked the fourth straight presently-ranked team that the Cavaliers have faced to start the season. Eric Bird (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) and Bryan Lima (R-Jr., Boca Raton, Fla.) each scored for the Cavaliers, who trailed 3-0 with just under seven minutes remaining before staging a furious rally.
UVa had a shot at the equalizer with 25 seconds remaining, but a short header from Jordan Allen (Fr., Rochester, N.Y.) was corralled by Wake Forest goalkeeper Alec Ferrell, and the Demon Deacons ran out the clock from there.
Bird finished with a goal and an assist to highlight the Cavaliers' offensive output. The Cavaliers out-shot Wake 20-14 overall, including 12-4 in the second half. UVa put nine shots on goal to five for the Demon Deacons. UVa goalkeeper Jeff Gal (R-So., Bartlett, Ill.) made a pair of saves, while Ferrell stopped six shots on goal. The physical game featured 34 fouls (19 on Wake Forest, 15 on Virginia) as well as six yellow cards (three on each team).
After a host of early scoring chances, Wake Forest took advantage of a Virginia handball in the box to take the lead in the 19th minute. Matt Brown
(Jr., Charlotte, N.C.) was whistled for the handball near the goal line, and Luca Gimenez converted on the penalty kick.
UVa controlled the run of play for much of the remainder of the half following the first goal, including a trio of shots on goal, but could not score the equalizer. Wake then doubled its lead in the 44th minute when Chris Duvall fired a long cross from the right flank to the far post, where Michael Gamble knocked it home for a 2-0 lead.
Wake upped its lead to 3-0 in the 55th minute, taking advantage of a turnover and sloppy defense. After a UVa turnover in its half of the field, Wake quickly countered when Gimenez slipped a pass past the Cavalier defenders to connect with a streaking Andy Lubahn, who then found himself alone with Gal and passed across the box to find Sean Okoli, who easily tapped it in for the Deacons' third score.
Wake Forest thwarted a big UVa scoring chance in the 67th minute. After a corner kick the Cavaliers' Jordan Poarch (So., Middletown, Del.) headed the ball to the far post, but Duvall was standing on the line and deftly knocked it away to keep UVa off the board.
The Cavaliers broke through in the 83rd minute when Allen lofted a high, arching corner kick toward the far post. Bird ripped it home from short range for his first goal of the year.
UVa continued to attack and found the back of the net once again in the 88th minute when Bird slotted a low cross to the far side of the box and found Lima in front of the goal. Lima turned and tapped the ball off his heel and tucked it just inside the post for the score. It marked Lima's second career goal and his first since Nov. 2, 2010, in his freshman season against Campbell.
Virginia starts a three-match homestand Tuesday (Sept. 17) when it plays host to George Mason at 7 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium. UVa also will battle NC State (Sept. 20) and Providence (Sept. 24) as part of the home stretch.