No. 1 Virginia men’s soccer hosted in-state rival No. 18 James Madison Tuesday night in the first match between the two schools since 2016. The Cavaliers (11-0-1, 4-0-1 ACC) defeated the Dukes (9-4-1, 4-0-1 CAA) 1-0 for an NCAA-leading 10th shutout of the season.
The match started quietly for both teams, as after 15 minutes of play, Virginia had the only shot. Nevertheless, throughout the first half, Virginia continued to press with their front three of junior forward Nathaniel Crofts, junior midfielder Irakoze Donasiyano and freshman forward Axel Gunnarsson.
Notably, leading scorer sophomore forward Daryl Dike did not play in the match after playing 96 minutes in the Cavaliers’ 1-1 draw against Boston College last week.
In the 33rd and 35th minutes, Virginia was able to generate two shots on goal by freshman defender Andreas Ueland and Gunnarsson, both of which were turned away by James Madison junior goalkeeper T.J. Bush.
However, nearing the end of a half where the Cavaliers had seven shots to the Dukes’ two, it was James Madison that threatened to strike first. Freshman midfielder Clay Obara took a shot from the left of the goal near the edge of the 18-yard box, which was met by diving junior goalkeeper Colin Shutler.
In the second half, the Dukes continued their momentum from the end of the first, as James Madison senior forward Lewis Long IV had two shots on goal in the 47th and 52nd minute that were both saved by Shutler. Although James Madison was one of the only two teams — along with Duke — to put five shots on goal against Virginia this season, Shutler was outstanding for the Cavaliers.
As the two teams continued to battle in the second half, Virginia was finally able to pull away in the 78th minute. Donasiyano — who had a shot hit off the crossbar in the 66th minute — had a sensational strike from 25 yards out, which rocketed into the top-left corner.
This was Donasiyano’s third goal of the season, as he is now tied with junior defender Spencer Patton and Dike atop the goals leaderboard for Virginia.
With this win, the Cavaliers have outscored their opponents 20-2 over the span of 12 matches and have outscored their five ranked opponents 9-1. Virginia is also now 8-0 at Klockner Stadium this season.
The Cavaliers continue their three-match homestand Friday night against ACC rival Pittsburgh, where they will be honoring Virginia men’s soccer alumni. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m., and the match will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra.