Cavaliers Stun No. 1 Notre Dame, Advance to ACC Championship

Virginia rallied from two goals down late in the second half to tie top-ranked Notre Dame, 3-3, Friday night before winning the penalty-kick shootout to advance to the championship of the 2013 ACC Men’s Soccer Championship. The sixth-seeded Cavaliers (10-4-5) scored two goals in the final six minutes of regulation to force extra time before winning the shootout, 4-3, over the second-seeded Fighting Irish (12-1-6).

UVa is seeking its 11th ACC championship and will play for the title for the first time since 2009.

“In my 18 years I think that was one of the best fight backs that we’ve had,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “I certainly challenged them at halftime and the responses were good. The way we played them in the second half is the way we played them from the start last time (2-0 UVa win). We were just a little funky to start with. Notre Dame’s a good team. We were fortunate enough to get ourselves going in the second half and finish with advancement.”

Marcus Salandy-Defour scored a goal and added an assist, while Todd Wharton and Nicko Corriveau also scored goals for the Cavaliers. Virginia goalkeeper Calle Brown picked up four saves and stopped two of five shots in the shootout.

Virginia out-shot Notre Dame, 15-13, including an 11-5 edge in the second half. UVa took seven corner kicks to six for the Fighting Irish.

The Cavaliers trailed 3-1 before rallying with goals in the 85th and 87th minutes. The teams played through two scoreless overtime periods before heading to the shootout.

The Cavaliers scored two late goals in just over two minutes to knot the score and send it to extra time.

In the 85th minute Riggs Lennon sent a short pass to the top of the box, where Salandy-Defour turned before quickly rifling a low shot just inside the near post for his third goal of the year.

The Cavaliers quickly struck again with a goal just 2:03 later. Salandy-Defour sent a ball downfield and connected with Corriveau, who battled for the ball and then came open for a one-on-one with the keeper. He ripped the ball past Wall and into the roof of the net for his first career score.

UVa missed its first shot in the shootout before burying its last four. Notre Dame took the early lead in the shootout with Harrison Shipp scoring before Wharton’s shot ricocheted off the left post. Brown then stopped consecutive shots from Connor Klekota and Patrick Hodan, with Scott Thomsen and Darius Madison each scoring to give UVa a 2-1 lead. The teams traded scores before Salandy-Defour sealed the shootout win by converting on UVa’s fifth shot.

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