CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Two Luca Gimenez goals within 1:13 of each other forced extra soccer, but a Virginia goal with 20 seconds remaining in double overtime knocked the fifth-seeded Wake Forest men’s soccer team out of the 2011 ACC Quarterfinals 4-3 on Tuesday, November 8 at Klockner Stadium.
Despite an early lead and an incredible second half comeback fueled by Gimenez’s second career brace, the Deacons will put their season on hold for the moment with an 8-7-4 overall record. Fourth-seeded Virginia advances in the tournament to play No. 1 seed North Carolina on Friday, Nov. 11 in Cary, N.C.
“The proud moment was that we fought back and we found our way back in the game during the last 15 minutes of the second half,” head coach Jay Vidovich said. “It’s gut-wrenching to give it away with 20 second left on a restart, but we gave away three goals off restarts and that’s something we’ve got to fix.”
The Demon Deacons got on the board first, scoring in the second minute, on a close range finish by junior striker Andy Lubahn from sophomore midfielder Ross Tomaselli. Wake would hold on to its one goal advantage throughout the rest of the half.
Immediately out of the locker room, however, Virginia went on the attack. Applied pressure turned into restart opportunities for the Cavs, who would score in the 52nd minute to equalize on a 25 yard free kick by Hunter Jumper. Jumper was also the assister on the Hoos next two goals.
“I think they came out in the second half with a better mentality than us that caused them to get their first goal – and consecutive goals,” sophomore forward Luca Gimenez said. “But I know we’re a better team and we deserved to win this game. It’s soccer, sometimes that happens.”
In the 71st minute, Brian Ownby chipped a shot over Wake Forest’s Michael Lisch and three minutes later another Brian – Brian Span – would give UVa a 3-1 lead and, seemingly, complete control of the match.
Undaunted, Gimenez would post back-to-back goals within 1:13 of each other to bring the Deacons back into the contest. The first tally was a short range tap off a header pass from Lubahn and the second was a beautiful, arcing shot from the near side on another ball from Lubahn. It was the second brace of the season for the sophomore forward, who now leads the Deacs with six goals on the season.
“I started off on the bench and just came in with the mentality of making a difference,” Gimenez said. “I wasn’t very effective when I first came in, but I did what I had to do on the field to help bring us back. I did it off my teammates, they did a great job, but it wasn’t enough.”
Both overtimes were lacking in opportunities, as each team combined for a total of three shots in the two periods of play. Nevertheless, Virginia manufactured another opportunity off a corner kick with just under 40 seconds left in the match and Span finished off a juggled ball in the box, beating Lisch to the near post to seal the win for the Hoos.
With the result of the match, Wake Forest’s season will be put on hold for the moment. A contender for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, the Deacs will await to learn their fate on Monday, Nov. 14. Stay tuned to Wakeforestsports.com and follow Wake soccer @wakemenssoccer on Twitter for the latest news on the Demon Deacons postseason plans.