The UCA Men’s Soccer team lost 1-0 in a close game against the University of Virginia, Tuesday night, in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“This was certainly amongst the most difficult games [this season] and amongst the most difficult games we've ever played,” Headcoach Ross Duncan said.
“I'm proud of the performance and I'm proud of the commitment level the guys showed tonight,” Duncan said.
Virginia (7-5-1, 4-4-1), a seven-time national champion team, scored their goal within the first 8 minutes of the game against UCA (6-8-2, 3-3-0). Virginia’s freshmen forward Leo Afonso scored a goal with an assist by sophomore midfielder Jeremy Verley.
“They scored a goal on a kind of free kick and we just couldn't respond with a goal of our own,” Duncan said.
UCA Men’s Soccer Captain Alberto Suarez said, “I think we played better than them and just that one moment that we lost focus changed the whole game.”
Duncan said, “I thought we came out really well against a top opponent, and we played the way we wanted to play, and made the game really difficult for Virginia.”
Duncan said that there were three players that really shined on the UCA Men’s Soccer team at the game. They were goalkeeper Zachary Schawl, Team Captain Alberto Suarez and freshman Rubyn Gill.
“They looked fearless out there, they made tackles, they completed passes, they created scoring chances and they looked like they belonged in a big game like that,” Duncan said.
Suarez said, “I think I played pretty good to be honest, the whole game we had a really good performance.”
Suarez said that his most memorable moment of the game was when he blocked a shot in the second half from a striker with about “20 minutes left on the clock”.
Schawl said, “I think overall, I did well, I had a couple saves I had to make but at the same time, it probably would have been a lot more if it wasn't for my defense.”
“I think overall our defense was solid throughout the game aside from the one goal,” Schawl said.
UCA had 12 shots, six shot-on-goals, four saves, 13 fouls, five corner shots and one offside during the game.
Virginia, on the other hand, had eight shots, five shot-on-goals, six saves, six fouls, six corner shots and no offsides.
In the first period, UCA had six shots and two corners while Virginia had one shot, three saves and one goal.
The second period consisted of six shots, four saves, three corners shots and one foul for UCA. Virginia, in the second period, had seven shots, three saves and six corner shots.
301 people attended the game, which started at 5 p.m. and ended at 7 p.m.
Schawl said that a 1:0 loss was “a tough pill to swallow.”
“All the boys here are upset, frustrated, but all of that just goes towards our next game, and we just work hard and train and focus on the next game,” Schawl said.
The UCA Men’s Soccer team will play against Missouri State on April 3 at the Bill Stephens Track/Soccer Complex.