CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Brian Span (So., Somers, N.Y.) scored the golden goal with 20 seconds remaining in double overtime to propel the fourth-seeded Virginia men's soccer team to a 4-3 victory over fifth-seeded Wake Forest Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC Tournament at Klöckner Stadium.
With the win the Cavaliers (12-6-1) advance to play top-seeded North Carolina at 5:30 p.m. Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Third-seeded Duke will face seventh-seeded Boston College in the second semifinal. Both games will be webcast on ESPN3. The championship game will be played at noon Sunday.
"I knew in the overtime there just was going to be a mistake - both teams were getting tired," UVa head coach George Gelnovatch said. "It was either one team catching the other one in transition or a mistake, a goal knocked down. Sure enough it wasn't. To our credit, until the last 20 seconds, we were going for it. We had six guys forward going for the box and we thought we were going to win."
Span scored a pair of goals, while defender Hunter Jumper (Sr., Plano, Texas) also had a big night with a goal and a pair of assists - all off long kicks. His corner kick in the waning seconds also led to Span's winning score.
Virginia posted a 23-13 edge in shots, including 14-7 in the second half. UVa goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita (Fr., Raleigh, N.C.) made five saves, while Michael Lisch notched four saves for Wake Forest (8-7-4), which had its four-game unbeaten streak snapped.
Much like the regular-season match between these teams, which ended in a 4-3 Wake Forest win, this game was wild from the start. The Demon Deacons scored in the third minute, only to watch the Cavaliers score three times in the first 30 minutes of the second half to take what seemed like a commanding lead. Wake then stunned the Cavaliers with a pair of goals from Luca Gimenez just 73 seconds apart to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Wake wasted no time in getting on the board, as Andy Lubahn took a short Ross Tomaselli pass just 2:18 into the game and one-timed it past LaCivita from short range.
After pressuring the Demon Deacons but coming up short on several occasions in the first half, the Cavaliers knotted the score in the 51st minute. After UVa's Calvin Rezende (Fr., Davie, Fla.) was fouled by Luciano Delbono about 25 yards outside of the goal, Jumper launched a free kick that caromed off the bottom of the crossbar and into the goal, just inside the upper 90. It marked Jumper's second goal of the year - both have come off free kicks.
The Cavaliers moved ahead in the 71st minute when Jumper boomed another long kick down the field. Brian Ownby (Sr., Glen Allen, Va.) beat the defenders to the ball, and in a one-on-one matchup with a charging Lisch, Ownby chipped the ball over the keeper and into the far corner for his sixth goal of the year.
Jumper again played a role as UVa scored just over three minutes later, as Span headed home Jumper's corner kick to the far post to give the Cavaliers a 3-1 lead and all the momentum.
Wake stormed back, beginning in the 80th minute when Lubahn headed a pass to Gimenez, who tapped the ball past LaCivita to pull the Demon Deacons within one. Gimenez then tied the game when he fired a shot to the far side of the goal from just inside the top of the box.
The teams played a relatively quiet overtime period, with Wake Forest recording the only shot, and there was only one shot in double overtime until the final score. With 25 seconds remaining, Jumper took a corner kick, which Greg Monaco (Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) got a head on. Span tracked the ball down and quickly fired past a diving Lisch just inside the near post for the winning score.
"I was going to take the corner kick and Hunter called me off," Span said. "I was like ‘are you sure you want to take that?' And he took it. Greg got the assist for it and I just hit it near corner. I've never had a goal like that with 20 seconds left before in my entire life, especially with this kind of crowd. I'm so excited I have no words to say."
UVa defeated Wake for the fourth straight year in the ACC tournament and now owns a 12-0-3 record all-time against the Demon Deacons in ACC tournament play.
2011 ACC Men’s Soccer Championship
Monday, Nov. 7 - First round
At UNC’s Fetzer Field
No. 8 N.C. State 1, No. 9 Virginia Tech 0
Tuesday, Nov. 8
Campus Site of Higher Seeded Team
No. 1 North Carolina 4, No. 8 NC State 0
No. 4 Virginia 4, No. 5 Wake Forest 3 (2OT)
No. 7 Boston College 2, No. 2 Maryland 1
No. 3 Duke 0, No.6 Clemson 0 (2 OT; Duke advances on PKs, 5-4)
Friday, Nov. 11 - Semifinals
WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
North Carolina vs. Virginia (ESPN3), 5:30 pm
Boston College vs. Duke (EPSN3), 7:30 pm
Sunday, Nov. 13 - Finals
WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
Championship (ESPNU), Noon
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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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