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Men’s soccer shuts out Virginia Tech 2-0

The Cavaliers topped their in-state rival with a strong second half performance

<p>Friday's win over the Hokies was the Cavaliers' first home win against their in-state rivals since 2014.&nbsp;</p>

Friday's win over the Hokies was the Cavaliers' first home win against their in-state rivals since 2014. 

Virginia men’s soccer came out victorious Friday afternoon over Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers (6-5-1, 2-1 ACC) faced off against the Hokies (4-5-1, 0-3 ACC) at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, winning the match 2-0. With its win, Virginia secured a victory against Virginia Tech for the first time this season, after the two teams tied in their first match and the Hokies won the second match in November.

The first half saw quality chances for both teams, but neither was able to break the deadlock. The Hokies’ best opportunity of the half came in the 23rd minute when senior defender Jakob Bluemler’s shot was saved by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Alex Rando. The ball then fell to senior midfielder Kristo Strickler, whose shot hit the crossbar. The Cavaliers had a chance to get on the scoreboard in the 27th minute, but redshirt freshman midfielder Nick Berghold’s strike missed over the goal.

Virginia wasted no time finding the back of the net in the second half, scoring just under two minutes in. Berghold served a cross from the right side of the box to freshman forward and midfielder Kaya Ignacio. Ignacio took a one-time shot off the cross, and the ball bounced under the crossbar and just over the goal line to give the Cavaliers a one-goal advantage. 

Sophomore forward and midfielder Kevin Ogudugu scored a stunning goal 10 minutes later to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead. Graduate student midfielder Joan Gibert Fuertes sent a through-ball over the top of the Hokie defense to Ogudugu, who struck the ball mid-bounce and sent it over Virginia Tech sophomore goalkeeper Matt Zambetti. Ogudugu has been crucial for Virginia’s offense this spring season, scoring his second goal in the past three games.

The Virginia defense continued its strong play in the spring season, earning its third shutout out of four games played so far. Rando continues to shine in goal for Virginia, making five saves against the Hokies and tying his career-high. 

“I think both teams knew how important this game was,” Coach George Gelnovatch said. “I’m really proud of the performance because it was really from top to bottom a great team performance. We’re young, but you can see in spurts [the potential]. If you look at the two goals, they were two really good goals so there are some good spells of some really good stuff.”

Next up for Virginia is a match-up against Central Arkansas. Tuesday’s game in Charlottesville will mark the first-ever match between the two teams with kick-off set for 5 p.m. at Klockner Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ACCNX.