Nov. 15, 2013
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GERMANTOWN, Md. - Virginia rallied from two goals down late in the second half to tie top-ranked Notre Dame, 3-3, Friday night before winning the penalty-kick shootout to advance to the championship of the 2013 ACC Men's Soccer Championship at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md. The sixth-seeded Cavaliers (10-4-5) scored two goals in the final six minutes of regulation to force extra time before winning the shootout, 4-3, over the second-seeded Fighting Irish (12-1-6).
Ranked as high as 10th nationally, Virginia advances to take on top-seeded Maryland at 2 p.m. Sunday. The contest will be televised by ESPNU. UVa is seeking its 11th ACC championship and will play for the title for the first time since 2009.
"In my 18 years I think that was one of the best fight backs that we've had," Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. "I certainly challenged them at halftime and the responses were good. The way we played them in the second half is the way we played them from the start last time (2-0 UVa win). We were just a little funky to start with. Notre Dame's a good team. We were fortunate enough to get ourselves going in the second half and finish with advancement."
Marcus Salandy-Defour (So., Kensington, Md.) scored a goal and added an assist, while Todd Wharton (So., Glen Allen, Va.) and Nicko Corriveau (Fr., Potomac, Md.) also scored goals for the Cavaliers. Virginia goalkeeper Calle Brown (R-Jr., Leesburg, Va.) picked up four saves and stopped two of five shots in the shootout. Notre Dame keeper Patrick Wall was credited with three saves.
Virginia out-shot Notre Dame, 15-13, including an 11-5 edge in the second half. UVa took seven corner kicks to six for the Fighting Irish. The Cavaliers were called for 19 fouls, while the Irish were whistled for 13.
The Cavaliers trailed 3-1 following Andrew O'Malley's 81st-minute goal for Notre Dame before rallying with goals in the 85th and 87th minutes. The teams played through two scoreless overtime periods before heading to the shootout.
UVa missed its first shot in the shootout before burying its last four. Notre Dame took the early lead in the shootout with Harrison Shipp scoring before Wharton's shot ricocheted off the left post. Brown then stopped consecutive shots from Connor Klekota and Patrick Hodan, with Scott Thomsen (So., Brick, N.J.) and Darius Madison (So., Philadelphia, Pa.) each scoring to give UVa a 2-1 lead. The teams traded scores before Salandy-Defour sealed the shootout win by converting on UVa's fifth shot.
Notre Dame took a 2-0 lead into halftime. The Irish scored in the 21st minute when Klekota sent a great ball through the Virginia defense to find Shipp, the 2013 ACC Offensive Player of the Year. who beat Brown from 10 yards out to the far corner. It marked his ninth goal of the season.
The Fighting Irish generated a second goal with just under a minute left in the half. After the Cavaliers turned the ball over in their own third, Brandon Aubrey sent the ball into the ball for an open Hodan, who found himself with a one-on-one opportunity with Brown and weaved around the UVa keeper and scored with 55 seconds remaining.
Notre Dame had an opportunity to effectively put the game away in the 53rd minute when Corriveau was whistled for a handball inside the box and the Irish were credited with a penalty kick. Shipp took the kick, but clanged it off the left post.
Virginia broke through with a goal in the 57th minute. After a cross into the box, Salandy-Defour was fouled hard and taken down, and UVa was awarded a penalty kick. For the second straight match, Wharton stepped to the spot and buried the penalty kick. The goal was Wharton's fourth of the year; he also scored UVa's game-winning goal Tuesday in the quarterfinals at Wake Forest.
After failing to get a shot off for 27 minutes, Notre Dame tacked on a goal in the 81st minute. Hodan's free kick from 25 yards was stopped by Brown, but O'Malley collected the rebound and scored.
The Cavaliers scored two late goals in just over two minutes to knot the score and send it to extra time.
In the 85th minute Riggs Lennon (Fr., Paradise Valley, Ariz.) sent a short pass to the top of the box, where Salandy-Defour turned before quickly rifling a low shot just inside the near post for his third goal of the year.
The Cavaliers quickly struck again with a goal just 2:03 later. Salandy-Defour sent a ball downfield and connected with Corriveau, who battled for the ball and then came open for a one-on-one with the keeper. He ripped the ball past Wall and into the roof of the net for his first career score.
Virginia played its ninth overtime game of the year and is unbeaten in extra time, with a 4-0-5 record.
Notre Dame has given up more than one goal just twice this year - UVa has done it both times, including a 2-0 win on Oct. 26 in South Bend.
Brown made his third-consecutive start in goal.