CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-University of Virginia forward Will Bates netted a goal in the 68th minute and the Cavaliers held off Duke for a 1-0 win in ACC men's soccer action this evening at Klöckner Stadium. The game was the ACC opener for both squads.
Duke falls to 1-3-0 overall for the year and 0-1-0 in ACC play, while Virginia evens its record to 2-2-0 and 1-0-0 in conference action.
Virginia had the better run of play in the opening 15 minutes with the best look coming off the foot of Eric Bird. The sophomore midfielder had a wide open look on the doorstep, but sent it way over the crossbar to keep it 0-0 after 15 minutes of action.
The Blue Devils started to get into a rhythm and possess the ball over the next 15 minutes, but were unable to find that connecting pass into the final third. Neither team managed a shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes.
The Cavaliers outshot Duke 6-2 in the first half with two good looks at net. The Blue Devils
Virginia came out strong to start the second half as Chris Somerville broke loose down the right flank and skipped a shot just wide of the far post. The Blue Devils came right back at the Cavaliers as junior Will Donovan found his way into the box and fired a shot low on goal that was corralled by Spencer LaCivita.
With play pretty even between Duke and Virginia in the second half, the Cavaliers got on the board in the 68th minute as Bates found the back of the net. A cross from the left wing sailed over the outstretched glove of Belshaw and Virginia's Marcus Salandy-Defour touched it back to the center of the penalty area where Bates knocked it into the open net for the 1-0 lead.
Duke continued to battle hard through the final 20 minutes, but the Virginia defense kept the Blue Devils at bay. The Blue Devils earned a pair of corner kicks, including one where Nat Eggleston headed the ball just wide of the right post.
The Blue Devils defense remained strong in the final 20 minutes with Virginia continuing to press forward. Belshaw made a strong save on a free kick from 23 yards and the backline repeatedly came up with strong tackles and clearances to keep it 1-0.
Overall, Virginia held an 11-6 lead in shots and a narrow 3-2 advantage in corner kicks. Belshaw finished the night with one save, while LaCivita had to make two stops to earn the clean sheet.
Duke returns home for its first midweek contest, hosting Georgia State Sept. 11 at 7 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium.