Comeback bid falls short for M Soccer
Cavaliers score twice in final seven minutes against No. 15 Wake Forest, but fall 3-2
The Virginia men’s soccer team turned what could have been an unequivocal and demoralizing setback against a conference foe into an uplifting, albeit incomplete comeback against No. 15 Wake Forest in Winston Salem, N.C. Friday. Ultimately, a three-goal deficit proved too much for the Cavaliers to overcome as their furious late-game rally came up short in a 3-2 loss.
Virginia (1-3-0, 0-2-0 ACC) fell behind 3-0 by the game’s 55th minute against Wake Forest (3-1-0, 2-0-0 ACC), but came alive late, scoring two goals in the final seven minutes. Prior to those tallies, the Demon Deacons had not allowed a goal since a 1-0 season-opening loss to Coastal Carolina Aug. 30. For much of Friday night, it looked like a foregone conclusion that Wake Forest would notch its third consecutive shutout.
Junior midfielder Eric Bird scored Virginia’s first goal in the 84th minute and junior Bryan Lima followed suit in the 89th minute. A reserve midfielder, Lima scored his first goal since his opening season with the Cavaliers in 2010. Lima’s tally brought his team within one, but Virginia was unable to fully extricate itself from a deficit almost two halves in the making.
The Demon Deacons went to work on the Virginia defense in the first half as senior forward Luca Gimenez and sophomore midfielder-forward Michael Gamble beat Cavalier sophomore goalkeeper Jeff Gal. When junior forward Sean Okoli scored 10 minutes into the second half, Virginia appeared cooked.
Virginia, however, continued to attack, firing off 12 second-half shots to Wake Forest’s four to trim the deficit in the final minutes.
Bird and freshman midfielder Jordan Allen each had one assist for Virginia. Junior defender Matt Brown and junior midfielder-forward Kyle McCord made their first appearances of the year, coming off the bench, and sophomore midfielder Jordan Poarch started for the first time in 2013.
Virginia will next face George Mason and conference foe NC State next Tuesday and Friday, respectively. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium.