[VIRGINIA-CONNECTICUT: Men]Virginia returned to the NCAA Division I men's quarterfinals for the 11th time and first since winning the national title in 2009 with a 2-1 victory over Connecticut Friday evening on goals from Ryan Zinkhan and highly regarded freshman Jordan Allen.
Virginia, which moves on to Men's College Cup Friday at PPL Park against the Cal-Maryland winner, put UConn's star goalie, Andre Blake, under pressure with 10 shots on goal and was rewarded with goals by Zinkham (his fifth of the season) and Allen (half bicycle kick).
“It never gets old. This is my fourth trip and it never gets old,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “But it’s the first time for these guys. It’s a different look, brightness, freshness, and excitement about going to the College Cup. The College Cup is something special and they deserve it.”
For the first time this year, Virginia did not make a substitution as all 11 players went the full 90 minutes.
“We were very happy of course to be playing with 11 men today,” Gelnovatch said, referring to the Cavaliers playing with 10 men in their last match against Marquette. “But we had a similar grit, a similar mentality, a similar resoluteness about how we defended and got behind the ball. This time around I thought we did very well with 11 men attacking, stringing passes together. I thought we played very well tonight, a very complete game.”
The loss snapped UConn's 17-match unbeaten streak.
Dec. 6 in Charlottesville, Va.
Virginia 2 Connecticut 1.Goals: Zinkhan (Madison) 12, Allen (Carroll) 63; Morad (Larin) 39.
Virginia --Brown, Carroll, Thomsen, Sullivan, McBride, Wharton, Allen, Bird, Zinkham, Madison, Salandy-Defour.
Connecticut --Blake, Campbell, Morad, Nerwinski, Awuah, Fochive, Larin, Beso, Bradley, Zuniga. Diouf. Subs: Dagraca, Matheson, Sanchez.