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No. 1 men’s soccer coasts by George Washington 3-0

The Cavaliers’ offense came to life in the win with three different goal-scorers on the night

<p>Senior defender Robin Afamefuna scored his first goal of the season against George Washington.</p>

Senior defender Robin Afamefuna scored his first goal of the season against George Washington.

No. 1 Virginia men’s soccer extended its winning streak Tuesday night, defeating George Washington 3-0 at Klockner Stadium. The now-No. 1 ranked team in the nation — the current ranking for Virginia women’s soccer as well — has won its first nine games of the season for the first time in Coach George Gelnovatch’s 24-year tenure.

Coming off a string of close games, Virginia’s (9-0, 3-0 ACC) three goal margin was their largest of the year. Unsurprisingly, yet another stellar defensive effort and a balanced, relentless attack led the Cavaliers to the win over the Colonials (2-7-1, 0-2-0 Atlantic-10).

After surviving a flurry of shots from George Washington early — one of which required a spectacular diving save by junior goalkeeper Colin Shutler — Virginia’s offense came to life. The Cavaliers pressed and were rewarded with a free kick in the 30th minute outside the top of the box after senior midfielder Colin Anderson was given a yellow card.

Virginia took full advantage as senior defender Robin Afamefuna logged his first goal of the season by drilling his lefty free kick into the top right corner — just out of senior goalkeeper Noah Lubin’s outstretched arm.

The Cavaliers would continue challenging the Colonials defense as they constantly fired shots Lubin’s way. In the 62nd minute, Virginia struck again as sophomore midfielder Cabrel Happi Kamseu whipped in a solid cross from the right side directly to the head of freshman forward Philip Horton, who guided the ball low and into the back of the net.

The Cavaliers didn’t take their foot off the pedal — as they were still the more aggressive team — generating far more scoring opportunities than George Washington. Virginia ended the game on a high note as sophomore midfielder Bret Halsey followed his own shot off a save by Lubin and tucked it away in the 86th minute. 

Notably, Horton and Halsey also had their first goals of the season — making it a trio of first-time scorers in this dominant win. This was the second time Virginia has scored three goals this season. 

Shutler once again turned in a solid performance as he made two saves to preserve a clean sheet in what was his eighth shutout of the year. As a whole, the defense allowed the Colonials to get off a mere six shots — paling in comparison to the 21 shots by the Cavaliers. 

Even so, Lubin held his own for most of the night, as the Cavaliers sent nine shots on goal. He finished the night with six saves, but it would have taken a heroic effort to keep a potent Virginia offense off the scoreboard.

The Cavaliers have gone through the first nine games of the season with no losses or ties for the first time since 1993 — a year in which they won their first 11 and went on to win the national championship. The start is certainly a promising one for the No. 1 team in the nation, but there is still plenty of work to be done, as they still face a plethora of talented teams.

Virginia will continue ACC play at home against No. 24 Louisville Friday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ACC Network Extra. 


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