Hoos take season opener on Horton PK in double overtime

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Philip Horton converted a penalty kick with 1:05 left in the second overtime to help No. 5 Virginia to a 2-1 win over Louisville on Friday night. The victory was the 300th for the men’s soccer program at Klöckner Stadium, a facility that opened in 1992.

Freshman Leo Afonso who checked into the match to make his collegiate debut a little over five minutes prior in the second overtime, drew a foul on the far side of the box to setup the game-winning Cavalier score. Attempting his first career PK, Horton converted in the 109th minute, his second career goal.

The late game dramatics did not only belong to the defending Atlantic Coast Conference Champion Cavaliers (1-0-0, 1-0-0 ACC). Louisville leveled the match and forced overtime thanks to a Pedro Fonseca strike with 47 second left in regulation.

“It’s obvious we’re behind in terms of game sharpness, game fitness,” head coach George Gelnovatch said. “This team (Louisville) has four, legitimate, hard games. They have made two or three road trips to play against good teams and it showed tonight.”

Louisville (1-3-0, 1-1-0) owned a 19-8 advantage in shots and out-cornered the Cavaliers 12-6.

Virginia broke through in the 52nd minute when its leading returning scorer from 2019, Nathaniel Crofts, was able to beat Cardinal keeper Jake Gelnovatch through his legs in a one-on-one opportunity. Crofts was on the receiving end of a nice passing sequence by Isaiah Byrd and Joan Gibert who were both credited with their first career assists.

Preseason All-American Colin Shutler lived up to the billing, denying eight shots to establish a new career high. Shutler made two stops in the final overtime session to give the Cavaliers a chance to setup the game-winning goal.

The Hoos will be back in action on Wednesday night when they take on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Start time is set for 8 p.m. on ACC Network.

Box Score

Additional Notes

  • The all-time series against Louisville now stands at 3-3-1 with Virginia unbeaten (two wins, one draw) in its last three meetings.
  • Virginia is 300-59-27 all-time at Klöckner Stadium, a winning percentage of .812
  • The Cavaliers are now seven-straight games against ACC opponents including the 2019 postseason
  • Afonso, Byrd, Gibert, Kaya Ignacio and Reed Kessler all made their collegiate debuts in the match.

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