Men’s Soccer: Top-Ranked Virginia Advances With Shutout of Campbell

uva soccerVirginia (18-1-1) produced its NCAA-best, 14th shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over Campbell (17-3-2) on Sunday (Nov. 24) at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament and will host either St. John’s or Syracuse next weekend.

The Virginia defense held Campbell to just two total shot attempts over 90 minutes of action. The Camels came into the contest with the country’s third highest scoring offense at 2.81 goals per game. Goalkeeper Colin Shutler (Middleburg, Va.) made only one save and was credited with his 22nd career shutout.

It marked the 11th time this season a Virginia opponent has managed two shots on goal or less in a game.

Junior Spencer Patton (Morrisville, Pa.) broke the scoreless stalemate in the 38th minute with his fourth goal of the season. He was able to deflect a Nathaniel Crofts (Sheffield, England) crossing pass into the back of the net. The goal proved to be the game-winner, Patton’s first career game-deciding goal.

Crofts put the exclamation point on the match in the 85th minute when Axel Gunnarsson (Gothenberg, Sweden) found him on the back post for his fifth goal of the season. Crofts (4) and Gunnarsson (5) combined for nine of the 19 Virginia shot attempts in the game. Gunnarsson, who had the game-winner in the ACC Championship game last Sunday, has four points in his last five games played.

“I think with this kind team (Virginia), being at home, being a top-seed, coming off an ACC Championship, this first game is always the one that tests your nerves the most,” head coach George Gelnovatch said. “That’s why getting that second goal was really important. It’s put a little bit of wind in our sails and we can spend the rest of the day watching the rest of the field play tonight.

Virginia outshot Campbell, 19-2 and held 59 percent of the game’s possession.

The Cavaliers will play the winner 16th-seed St. John’s and Syracuse who are scheduled to play in Queens, N.Y. at 5 p.m.

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