CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia men's soccer team exploded for four goals in the first 26 minutes in a 4-1 victory over North Carolina State in the regular-season finale Thursday evening at Klöckner Stadium. Brian Ownby (Sr., Glen Allen, Va.) scored a goal and added a pair of assists as the Cavaliers (11-6-1, 4-3-1 ACC) celebrated Senior Night with a key win.
With the win, the Cavaliers finish the regular season in a third-place tie with Duke and Wake Forest in the final ACC standings. ACC tournament pairings will be announced later this evening.
"The first 25 minutes were all you could ask for," Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. "I can't say enough about our play during that time. We managed the game from there and may have taken our foot off the gas, but I'm happy with the result."
UVa honored five fourth-years and their families prior to the start of the match. Ari Dimas (Chesapeake, Va.), Sean Hiller (Howell, N.J.), Hunter Jumper (Plano, Texas), Felipe Libreros (Oldsmar, Fla.) and Ownby all were recognized.
UVa out-shot NC State (6-10-2, 2-6-2), 19-16. UVa goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita (Fr., Raleigh, N.C.) made five saves, while NC State keeper Fabian Otte stopped seven shots.
The Cavaliers came out firing Thursday, stunning the Wolfpack (6-10-2, 2-6-2) with four early scores. UVa got on the board in the seventh minute. After Ryan Zinkhan (Fr., Fredericksburg, Va.) made a long run down the right side of the field, he crossed a pass into the box, where Ownby knocked in home from six yards out.
Zinkhan was on the scoring end just under four minutes later, this time taking a beautiful cross from Brian Span (So., Somers, N.Y.) and tapping it home from the doorstep of the goal. It marked Zinkhan's fourth goal of 2011.
UVa stretched its lead to 3-0 in the 16th minute. After Ownby passed across the field, Calvin Rezende (Fr., Davie, Fla.) cleared some space then launched a shot from just outside the top of the box and placed it perfectly in the upper 90 for his second goal of the year.
The Cavaliers added a goal in the 26th minute. Libreros launched a cross through the box and toward the goal line; Ownby tracked it down just in front of the goal line to the left of the goal, then dished it back to Span, who tapped it home from a couple of yards out. Span notched his fifth goal of the year.
NC State countered with its lone goal just over three minutes later. After a long throw in from Zane Tharakan, the ball slid through the box and found the foot of Jorge Risquez, who knocked it in from about six yards out.
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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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