Lone loss allowed Virginia to regroup

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Virginia men's soccer team had gone 12 straight games without being beaten before a familiar foe came into Charlottesville and handed the top-ranked Wahoos their first loss of the season.

"Some of the hopes went down a little bit after we lost the game," sophomore forward Daryl Dike said about the 2-0 loss to Pittsburgh.

The last time the Cavaliers had lost going into that Friday night game against Pittsburgh was a year earlier in the ACC Tournament, also a 2-0 loss to Pittsburgh at Klöckner Stadium. This time though the loss knocked Virginia out of the top spot in the rankings, a ranking they held for three straight weeks.

"I think a loss forces you anytime you've gone through a stretch like the month of September, three weeks in October, undefeated and number one in the country, you have to ask questions," Coach George Gelnovatch said.

Those questions lead to discussions before Virginia's next two games against Saint Louis and Virginia Tech, both of which the Cavaliers came out with wins. Quick back-to-back wins to get the Wahoos back on track and remain atop the ACC Coastal division.

"This game kind of just picked us up again," Dike said Tuesday after scoring two goals against Saint Louis, "We definitely fell down and a win like this was definitely something that was needed."

But it was the loss to Pittsburgh that lead the Cavaliers to regroup and focus to close out the regular season.

"It was the kind of discussions you have sometimes when you lose four in a row," Gelnovatch said, "We lose one game and it forces you to take a closer look at things and that's a healthy thing."

Virginia finishes the regular season at home on Friday facing Coastal division foe North Carolina.



 
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