[MEN'S COLLEGE CUP] Virginia won its first national championship in 15 years when it beat top-ranked Akron, 3-2, in a shootout after their game ended in a 0-0 draw.
The Cavs led the shootout 3-1 with two chances to put the game away,
but Akron goalie David Meves stopped Jonathan Villanueva and Greg Monaco, giving the Zips new
life. But Blair Gavin put the
fifth attempt over the crossbar to end the contest.
Neither team could score in 90 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of
overtime. The closest either team came was in the fifth minute when
Virginia's Will Bates hit the
The title was the sixth for the Cavaliers and the first for George Gelnovatch, who replaced Bruce Arena in 1996. Virginia's last
appearance in the final came in 1997.
"I knew was only a matter of time before we won another championship,"
said Gelnovatch. "In 1997, I thought we had a real good chance and lost
in the finals. In 2006, we were in the College Cup and things didn't
work out our way. I kept telling people, it was not a matter of if, it
was a matter of when. Today was our day."
Tony Tchani opened the
shootout with a goal for Virginia and the Cavaliers took an early
advantage when Diego Restrepo
stopped Akron's first kick taken by freshman Zarek Valentin.
Ari Dimas and Ben Zemanski
both converted their attempts in round two, but the Cavaliers then
extended their lead to 3-1 as Sean Hiller, who came on for the
shootout, made his kick and Akron's Kofi
Sarkodie sent his off the post.
Villanueva and Monaco missed for Virginia, and Scott Caldwell converted, setting
the stage for the 10th kick missed by Gavin.
"It's tough to lose that way," said Zip coach Caleb Porter. "I'd
like to credit Virginia for playing very well and putting up a good
fight. They played us as tough as any team this year. As you get closer
to winning a national championship, second place hurts more. You get so
close you can taste it. What makes this one even more tough is that we
didn't give up a goal in the entire NCAA Tournament, and yet we don't
take home any hardware. I told the guys that they have nothing to hang
their heads on. They raised the bar in my opinion. The way they played
the game, I can hold my head high knowing we did everything we could."
Akron, which also lost in its previous appearance in the final in 1986,
did not give up a goal in five NCAA Tournament games. The goal
Virginia gave up late in its 2-1 win over Wake Forest in the semifinals
was the only goal it allowed in its last 13 games.
Dec. 13 in Cary, N.C.
Virginia 0 Akron 0 North Carolina
(Virginia wins 3-2
Akron -- Meves, Valentin,
Barson, Sarkodie, Korb, Gavin, Ampaipitakwong, Zemanski, Speas, Nagbe,
Bunbury. Subs: Mwila, Caldwell.
Virginia -- Restrepo, Jumper,
Monaco, Volk, Barry, Barlow, LaBauex, Dimas, Villanueva, Tchani, Bates.
Subs: Evans, Simpson, Ownby, Hiller.
Referee: Chico Grajedo.