The Virginia men’s soccer team lost 4-1 to Wake Forest Friday night in ACC play at Klöckner Stadium. Will Bates scored the Cavaliers’ goal in the 79th minute.
“Actually we played well, to be honest with you,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “I thought the game in long stretches was a very good soccer game. Both teams were moving the ball very well and both teams were going after each other. Wake Forest is a good team and they capitalized on a couple of our mistakes. They capitalized on two of our mistakes and all of a sudden we find ourselves down 3-0, in a game that I thought was pretty even.”
Wake Forest (8-2-4, 2-1-3 ACC) took advantage of a Virginia miscue to grab an early lead just over five minutes into the match. After a UVa turnover deep in its own territory, Wake capitalized when Jared Watts flipped a pass ahead to Sean Okoli, who found himself alone in the box and fired a shot past UVa goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita.
The Cavaliers held the advantage in shots in the first half and put plenty of pressure on the Demon Deacons, but the game turned during a two-minute span in the second half as Wake Forest scored two goals just 1:39 apart to break the game open.
In the 64th minute Luciano Delbono fired a low shot from 25 yards and scored just inside the far post. Michael Gamble then took a great through-ball from Ross Tomaselli and tapped it past LaCivita in the 66th minute.
The Cavaliers got on the board in the 79th minute when Brian James slipped a pass through the Demon Deacons’ defense and found Bates, who ripped the shot past goalkeeper Michael Lisch for his team-leading eighth score of the year. It marked Bates’ 42nd career goal, and he moved into seventh place on UVa’s all-time goals list.
Virginia pressed forward over the next 10 minutes but could not score. Wake then countered off the pressure and got a Tomaselli breakaway goal with just over a minute remaining to cap the Demon Deacons’ big night.
Both goalkeepers made three saves. UVa held a 16-11 edge in shots and took seven corner kicks, compared to four for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons committed 13 fouls, while UVa was called for six.
Virginia wraps up its regular-season home schedule next week, battling Wright State at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 16) before taking on Virginia Tech at 6:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 19) on Senior Night.
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