- Behind a four-goal outburst from junior Will Bates, the Virginia men's soccer team bolted to an early 4-0 lead before holding on to pick up a 4-3 win over Radford Tuesday evening at Klöckner Stadium. Bates set a career high with his four-goal effort and fell one shy of the school record, set by Bill Hodill against Davidson in 1942.
Virginia (5-3-0) scored four goals in the first 20 minutes of the match while picking apart the Radford (3-3-0) defense. UVa out-shot the Highlanders 8-7 in the first half, but Radford took advantage of the short-handed Cavaliers in the second half and racked up a 15-3 shot margin in the half. RU outshot UVa 22-11 for the game and put 10 shots on goal, compared to seven for UVa.
UVa goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita recorded six saves. Radford goalkeeper Ryan Wilson picked up a pair of saves in the first half; he was replaced at halftime by Dane Wilson, who recorded one save.
Bates' first two goals were mirror images of each other, just from opposite ends of the box. Just over three minutes into the game, Eric Bird hit a perfect through ball to Bates, who shot across the box to the right corner of the net for the score.
The second goal came just a minute and a half later when Calvin Rezende sent a through ball to Bates on the other side of the field, and Bates placed the ball perfectly to the left corner to give UVa a quick 2-0 edge.
Bates finished off a natural hat trick with an unassisted goal in the 16th minute. Following a Radford foul at the top of the arc, Bates took the free kick and curled it just inside the post.
His fourth score came in the 20th minute. After a Brian Span cross into the box, Bates headed it over Taylor to the upper right corner. The goal was Bates' ninth this season, moving him into a tie for the national lead with UCF's McKauly Tulloch.
Radford broke through in the 39th minute. After a UVa foul in the box, Radford converted on the penalty kick. While LaCivita guessed correctly, Iyiola Awosika perfectly placed the ball to the corner of the goal to net the score.
The Highlanders made things very interesting with a pair of goals just under two minutes apart in the second half. After a breakway, Awosika ripped a shot high to the near corner which beat LaCivita in the 60th minute. Radford followed that up with a goal a minute, 47 seconds later. After a corner kick, the ball pinballed around in the box, and Luis Grande chipped it home to cut the lead to UVa 4-3.
The Highlanders nearly netted the equalizer in the 85th minute on a crazy play. Anthony Payne launched a high, arcing shot from midfield and the ball sailed over LaCivita's head before caroming off the upper 90 crossbar on the fly.
Virginia returns to ACC play at 7 p.m. Friday when it entertains No. 4 North Carolina at Klöckner Stadium. The last six matches between the two teams each have been settled by just one goal. This marks the first of three straight ACC games for UVa.