CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Fresh off an Oceania Championship with the New Zealand U-20 National Team last weekend, sophomore Joe Bell(Wanaka, New Zealand) delivered the game-winning goal with 21 seconds left in No. 15 Virginia's season-opening win over No. 19 New Hampshire (0-1).
In a game that seemed destined for overtime, Bell gained control of the ball with under a minute remaining in regulation. The second year carried the ball from near the midfield line all the way into the center of the box where he beat two defenders and then Wildcat goalkeeper Lars Huxsohl for the eventual game-winning tally.
The goal for Bell was his third of his career and second in his last four games played for the Cavaliers.
"First let me say that New Hampshire is a very good team and we knew that," head coach George Gelnovatch said. "I thought we handled their skillful, physical play really well especially as the first half went on and then to start the second half. Once we were able to understand what the game was we were able to wear them down a little bit."
Virginia goalkeeper Colin Shutler (Broadlands, Va.) played all 90 minutes in goal and recorded his first career shutout. The redshirt sophomore made a pair of saves including a stop on a breakaway in the 75th minute.
The two teams battled over the first 89 minutes of play, nearly replicating each other on the stat sheet in every category. The Wildcats outshot the Cavaliers, 11-10 but Virginia was able to put four chances on target compared to New Hampshire's two. Each team attempted four corner kicks on the night.
Virginia will return to action on Thursday, August 30 at 7 p.m. when it hosts Elon at Klöckner Stadium.
• Virginia improved to 5-4-7 against Top-25 opponents since 2016.
• The Cavaliers have now won five of its last six season openers, four of them against ranked foes. Virginia is now 48-24-3 in season-opening games.
• Joe Bell was awarded the Golden Ball (Oceania Tournament MVP) last weekend for the New Zealand U-20 team that qualified for the 2019 U-20 World Cup. He joined the Cavaliers on Monday.
• Freshmen Cabrel Happi Kamseu and Aboubacar Keita made their collegiate debuts and both were in the starting lineup for Virginia. Keita played all 90 minutes on the Virginia back line.