Aug. 30, 1997
American Dominates #2 Virginia, 3-1
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Forward Eric Block tallied a goal and an assisit in his first game as American dominated #2 Virginia, 3-1, in the season-opener for both teams before a near-capacity 1,125 at sun-soaked Reeves Field.
American (1-0) dominated the game, holding UVa. without a shot in the second half as all of the scoring in the game occurred in a feverish first period. The Eagles had not beaten the Cavaliers since a 1979 NCAA Tournament game, breaking a five game losing streak. AU continued a five-game home winning streak as well as a nine-game regular season winning streak, both from the end of last season. With the upset, the Eagles will be looking for their first national ranking since October 15, 1990.
The Eagles got three unansered goals in the first half following UVa.'s early tally. Block, a graduate student in his first game at AU, slipped a five yard shot off a short cross from junior midfielder Antonio Otero. Senior defender Todd Miller tallied midway through the first half, drilling a low shot just inside the far post from a drop pass from Block at 25:44. Junior forward Deryck Roberts finished off the first half flurry with under five minutes remaining as he guided a 4-yard header across the goal mouth and just inside the post from senior forward Scott Pearson's deep right side cross at 40:59. The Eagles were also without two defensive starters due to injury and a red card, respectively.
Virginia (0-1), ranked #2 by the Coaches NCSAA/Umbro Top 25 poll and Soccer News, got on the board early when senior forward Matt Leonard tucked an 8-yard header under the crossbar from a long cross from freshman forward Chris Albright and freshman defender Mike Feller at 7:14. The Cavaliers were playing without four starters who are competing at the World University Games in Sicily.
AU's next game will be at UMBC on Tuesday at 3:00 PM. UVa.'s next opponent will be at their own Coca-Cola Classic on Friday against Akron, a tournament in which AU is a participant, but will not face UVa. On another note, the AU women's basketball team upst #7 Virginia last December.
American 3, Virginia 1 Virginia 1 0 1 American 3 0 3
Scoring: Virgina- Matt Leonard (Chris Albright, Mike Feller) 7:14;
American- Eric Block (Antonio Otero) 11:45; Todd Miller (Block) 25:44; Deryck Roberts (Scott Pearson) 40:59.
Shots: Virginia 7, American 12
Corner Kicks: Virginia 5, American 5
Fouls: Virginia 16, American 17
Offsides: Virginia 1, American 0;
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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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