World University Games team falls to Italy in semifinals

The U.S. World University Games team fell 1-0 to host Italy in the semifinals Aug. 26 in Palermo before a crowd of over 22,000. The USA will face Ukraine, which fell to South Korea on penalties in the other semifinal, in the bronze-medal match on Aug. 29. The U.S. had several early scoring opportunities, but neither team was able to find the net in the first half. Just before halftime, Virginia defender Scott Vermillion and and Italian player were sent off after a near melee that began when a group of Italian players started shoving Andrew Gregor of the U.S. After a 10-minute cooling off period, the half was completed with no score. The Americans seemed to have caught a break when another Italian player was sent off in the second half, but just two minutes later, U.S. defender Caleb Porter was called for a foul in the box. Italy converted the ensuing penalty kick and hung on for the victory. Despite the outcome of Friday's match, the U.S. is assured of its highest finish ever in World University Games competition.
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