Men’s Soccer: Catamounts Fall to Virginia in Double Overtime

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Pablo Aguilar’s individual effort in the 103rd minute sent No. 12 seed Virginia into the Round of 16 with a 2-1 double overtime win over visiting Vermont in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Klockner Stadium.

UVM, which played the final 40 minutes with only 10 men, closed its historic 2016 season with a 14-7-1 record. Vermont posted the second-most wins in school history behind only the 1989 squad, which is the only Catamount team ever to reach the final 16. Virginia improved to 11-3-5 on the year and will face either Stanford or Pacific for a spot in the Elite 8.

The Catamounts out-shot the Cavaliers 3-1 in the first half as rookie Aron Runarrson made his only save count in the opening minutes.

In the 13th minute, Brian Wright took on three defenders and sent an attempt on the Virginia net, but Jeff Caldwell (3 saves) made a diving stop to deny Wright his 15th goal of the year.

The best chance of the opening 45 minutes came from Bernard Yeboah with just under 20 minutes left. Stefan Lamanna centered a cross from the right wing for the senior just to the left of the penalty spot, but Yeboah’s powerful left-footed volley sailed a few feet over the cross bar.

Vermont weathered an early UVA storm as the second half opened. Lamanna was then denied by Caldwell in the 57th minute with the game’s best chance to that point, but the Catamounts followed by opening the scoring.

UVM broke the deadlock with 28:31 remaining in the game. Charlie DeFeo led a counter attack by threading a ball down the left wing with the outside of his foot. Wright tracked down the feed and cut into the penalty area before laying off to Jon Arnar Barðdal, who finished with a low shot into the lower left corner.

Minutes later, DeFeo picked up his second yellow card with a foul just outside the Vermont box and was issued a red card, dropping the Catamounts to 10 men for the final 26 minutes of regulation. UVA wasted the ensuing set piece and drifted a shot well over the bar.

Virginia finally drew level with 14:23 left in regulation as it earned another free kick from a similar location outside the UVM 18. Paddy Foss bent a left-footed shot over the wall into the upper right corner to beat a diving Runarsson and tie the score.

The Catamount defense stood tall down the stretch and the teams headed to overtime as a final UVA free kick sailed high and wide left.

Late in the first extra session, Yeboah fired a long range right-footed effort toward the left post, forcing Caldwell to make a diving save as he pushed the ball to the corner. Vermont was called for a foul near the back post on the following corner kick.

Aguilar registered the golden goal for the Cavaliers less than three minutes into the second overtime. Aguilar dribbled around multiple UVM defenders before poking a shot inside the far right post, sending Virginia into the NCAA Round of 16 and ending Vermont’s season.