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Virginia Advances To ACC Semis With 4-2 Win Over Duke

CARY, N.C. The fourth-seeded Virginia men’s soccer team defeated fifth-seeded Duke, 4-2, Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. UVa will face No. 1 seed Wake Forest Friday at 8 p.m. in the semifinals.

“Tonight felt really good,” UVa head coach George Gelnovatch said. “There was a stretch in the first half when we scored and it felt good to get things started. But then there was a stretch when they scored. We had a good talk at halftime and the team responded well. We’ve been working on penalty kicks to get ready for the postseason. [On Friday] we have nothing to lose.”

Brian Ownby delivered two goals in the closing minutes of the match, and Matt Poole also scored twice for the Cavaliers (10-7-1).

Duke (10-7-2) led 2-1 at halftime, but couldn’t sustain the edge as Virginia scored three unanswered goals in the second half. Ownby’s first goal with 11:24 to play broke a 2-2 tie and put the Cavaliers on the path to the semifinals.

Virginia got on the board at the 27:57 mark of the opening half, when Poole drove a penalty kick past Duke keeper Brendan Fitzgerald.

The Blue Devils tied the match with 14:48 remaining in the half when senior defender Darrius Barnes headed in a free-kick pass from ACC Player of the Year Mike Grella. The goal, like that of Virginia’s Poole earlier, was Barnes’ first of the season.

Grella gave Duke the lead less than six minutes later, taking Cole Grossman’s pass and sending it home his 14th goal of the year from 12 yards out. The score put the Blue Devils in front 2-1 with 8:58 showing on the first-half clock.

Poole came back with his second successful penalty kick with just over 34 minutes remaining in the match to even the score at 2-all and set up Virginia’s strong finish.

Fitzgerald preserved the tie score with 27 minutes to play with an acrobatic block of a breakaway attempt by the Cavaliers’ Ownby. But Ownby got another chance as the game clock wound under 12 minutes. Taking pin-point passes from Ross LaBauex and Jimmy Simpson on another break, Ownby drilled a low running kick into the left corner of the goal to put Virginia back in front.

Ownby struck again with 6:07 left, taking the pass from Hunter Jumper on another break and sending another shot home for a 4-2 lead and breathing room.

Semifinal action will begin on Friday, Nov. 14, with games slated at 5:30 and 8 p.m. The championship game will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. All games are available online through, while the championship game will be nationally televised on Fox Sports Net. The ACC men’s soccer awards ceremony will be held immediately following the title game.




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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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