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Men's soccer silences Thundering Herd, 3-0

In preparation for a number of upcoming tests, the Virginia men's soccer team blanked Marshall 3-0 last night at Klöckner Stadium.

"It was a win," Virginia coach George Gelnovatch said. "Marshall should feel pretty lucky it was just 3-0."

The Cavaliers (7-5-1), who were coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss to ACC rival Clemson, needed to build some momentum if they hoped to finish the season strongly against tough opponents like Duke and UCLA.

"There was no question it was a must win," Gelnovatch said. "They all are, but we just need to take things one game at a time."

"Definitely was a must win," Cav midfielder Ryan Trout said. "We pretty much had our grace period and blew that, so we need to win each game."

The Cavaliers' offensive onslaught included 10 shots, most of them great scoring opportunities. Although they capitalized on three of those chances, the score against the Thundering Herd (5-8-1) should have been even more lopsided.

"The score could have been and should have been six or seven to nothing," Gelnovatch said. "If we could have scored more goals earlier, we would have made life much easier for ourselves."

Virginia first put a score on the board when first-year Kyle Martino popped a free kick into the back of the net at the 25-minute mark. Trout then helped the Cavs increase their lead with a superb pass to second-year Steve Totten, who stroked the ball past Herd goalkeeper Taly Goode.

The final score of the evening occurred when Martino tapped a breakaway pass to second-year forward Sheldon Barnes, who added to Virginia's plethora of pretty plays with a sweet shot across his body to beat the diving Goode.

Perhaps more important than the finishing efforts of the Cavaliers last night was the quality mental decisions the team made.

"Mental lapses, especially on restarts, has been our Achilles' heel all year," Gelnovatch said. "I wasn't really concerned about that [against Marshall] because I didn't think they'd be near our goal too much to cause a problem."

And with the regular season slowly creeping towards its end, the Cavs will have to continue decreasing their mental mistakes if they hope to excel in the ACC Tournament and beyond.

"We seemed a little too comfortable with holding the ball and playing around with it against Marshall," Gelnovatch said. "But this team is hungry and I don't think that will be a problem against the tougher teams."

Despite the Cavs' far-from-perfect record, he said the team remains confident.

"We've had one of the toughest schedules in the country," he added. "And I still haven't seen anyone better than us. We've just had some bad breaks and, although I'm not a big believer in fate, we've gotta be due some breaks."


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