RALEIGH, N.C. - After a chaotic first 15 minutes, the No. 2 Virginia men's soccer team settled in and easily disposed of N.C. State on Sunday, 2-0.
The Cavaliers (7-0-1, 3-0 ACC) weathered an aggressive Wolfpack attack in the opening of the match before taking control. Virginia defender Jonathan Cole scored the game winner at 27:13 with a header off of a corner kick by Jacob LeBlanc.
LeBlanc scored an insurance goal 12 minutes later with an assist from forward Ryan Gibbs. Gibbs' ball appeared to be an errant shot that went left of the goal, but LeBlanc saved the ball before it crossed the end line. He then hooked the ball around the post for the second goal of the game.
"It was a good game," LeBlanc said. "I thought our team worked really well together and connected with each other. I think [N.C. State's] coach told them to come out in the first 15 minutes and really take it to us. Luckily, we were able to keep our composure and keep everything together."
With a 2-0 lead, Virginia came out conservatively in the second half and was able to control the ball and keep N.C. State out of Cavalier territory. When the Wolfpack did cross the midfield line, the defense consistently made solid stops to retake possession and helped goalie David Comfort earn his fourth straight shutout in goal.
"The credit definitely goes to everyone," Cole said. "Shutouts aren't something that just goes to defenders. It's a team goal and something that we talk about as a team, not just the back four."
After the early adrenaline wore off for the Wolfpack, they looked tired and overmatched by the Cavaliers. N.C. State only recorded five shots on goal - weak in comparison to Virginia's 14.
"We needed to give a better effort," N.C. State coach George Tarantini said. "Today we had no control whatsoever of the tempo and Virginia did. I thought we played pretty good in the first 15 minutes. Unfortunately you play for 90."
Virginia coach George Gelnovatch was pleased with his squad's performance in its first ACC road game and first away game not played at a neutral site this season.
"We haven't won here [at Method Road Stadium] in a long time," Gelnovatch said. "One of our challenges was to come to this field against this team and win. We did ourselves a favor by getting an early lead. With this team, you have to jump on them early, take control of the game and manage it correctly and we did that."