CLEMSON, S.C. - The Virginia men's soccer team used a dominating performance to earn a 2-0 triumph at Clemson Friday evening at historic Riggs Field. The Cavaliers limited Clemson to just two shots while thoroughly controlling possession as they racked up their third shutout of the year.
Brian Span scored a goal and added an assist, while Ryan Zinkhan nabbed the game-winning score - his first goal as a Cavalier.
"It was our most complete game this year from start to finish," Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. "The passing, moving and execution in the final third was the best it has been all year for us."
Virginia (6-4-0, 2-1-0 ACC) out-shot Clemson 15-2 in the game, including a 9-0 edge in the first half. UVa put six shots on goal, compared to two for the Tigers (3-5-0, 1-3-0).
UVa goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita earned his third shutout after stopping both Clemson shots. Tiger goalkeeper Cody Mizell stopped six shots.
Virginia struck first in the 17th minute. After Span slipped a great through ball past the Clemson defense, Zinkhan ripped a shot to the far end of the net past a diving Mizell. The goal was the first college goal for Zinkhan, who was rejected by Mizell from point-blank range just a few minutes earlier. Span picked up his team-leading fourth assist.
Clemson did not register a shot until the 53rd minute when Iain Smith's shot from the top of the box was easily corralled by LaCivita. The Tigers had a good chance in the box in the 70th minute, but Amadou Dia's pass from the goal line found no one and then was knocked away by the Cavaliers.
UVa got some breathing room in the 75th minute. Span dribbled around Clemson's defenders near the top of the box, then split another pair of defenders to get a one-on-one matchup with Mizell. He deftly tapped a shot from short range to the right portion of the goal to net his third score this season.
Virginia comes back home to Klöckner Stadium next Friday (Oct. 7) for an ACC showdown with unbeaten and second-ranked Maryland. Virginia 2, Clemson 0
Virginia (6-4-0, 2-1-0) 1 1 - 0
Clemson (3-5-0, 1-3-1) 0 0 - 0
1. UVa Ryan Zinkhan 1 (Brian Span 3) 16'
2. UVa Span 3 (unassisted) 75'
Shots: UVa 15, Clemson 2
Corners: UVa 3, Clemson 4
Saves: UVa 2 (Spencer LaCivita 2), Clemson 6 (Cody Mizell 6)
Fouls: UVa 6, Clemson 10