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Men’s soccer falls 3-1 to Duke in final home game

A late Virginia goal was not enough to defeat the Blue Devils

<p>Ogudugu scored the only Cavalier goal during this game —&nbsp;his third of the season.</p>

Ogudugu scored the only Cavalier goal during this game — his third of the season.

Virginia men’s soccer dropped its last game at Klöckner Stadium this season 3-1 to Duke Sunday afternoon. A hat-trick from freshman forward Thorleifur Ulfarsson lifted the Blue Devils (4-9-2, 2-2 ACC) over the Cavaliers (7-6-1, 2-2 ACC). Sophomore forward/midfielder Kevin Ogudugo scored the lone goal for Virginia late in the game, but the Cavaliers were unable to make a comeback.

Duke jumped out to an early lead after Ulfarsson got past the Virginia defense and beat redshirt freshman goalkeeper Alex Rando one-on-one with a shot to the top corner in the 11th minute. The goal by the Blue Devils was the first given up by the Cavaliers at home in four games. 

Virginia had multiple shot attempts in the first half but failed to convert any into goals. Freshman forward/midfielder Kaya Ignacio had the first three shots of the game for the Cavaliers but was unable to get anything past junior goalkeeper Eliot Hamill. In the 25th minute, freshman Leo Afonso had a good shot on goal from the right side of the field that was saved by Hamill.

Duke extended its lead in the 31st minute after a free-kick goal. Ulfarsson drew a foul 20 yards outside the box, took the free-kick and placed the ball into the upper left corner of the goal to put the Blue Devils ahead by two goals heading into halftime.

In the second half, the Cavaliers continued to struggle to get quality chances on offense. In the 68th minute, Ulfarsson completed his hat-trick and put the game out of reach for Virginia. Ulfarsson controlled the rebound after a shot from junior midfielder Conor Kelly was blocked and shot the ball past Rando and into the Cavaliers’ net. 

The Cavaliers got on the scoreboard in the 86th minute after a goal from Ogudugu. Redshirt freshman midfielder Nick Berghold maneuvered between multiple Duke defenders to find Ogudugu in the box who placed the ball into the right side of the goal. Time ran out on the clock before Virginia could complete a comeback with the final score reading 3-1 in favor of the Blue Devils.

“Obviously a disappointing result,” Coach George Gelnovatch said. “Down 2-0 at the half really affected us. We had a lot of young guys on the field which is understandable and we’re going through a lot of injuries too, but I think everybody is this time of year. It was good to get that goal [at the end] but we needed that much earlier, it sparked us, brought us to life. Scoring goals is tough especially against [a] team that is already up 2-0.”

Virginia travels to face Louisville on Friday with kick-off set for 7 p.m. The Cavaliers will then head to Pittsburgh April 8 for their ACC regular season finale.

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