CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - No. 1 Virginia defeated No. 5 SMU in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals at Klockner Stadium Friday night 3-2 in overtime to advance to the College Cup in Cary, North Carolina.
Joe Bell scored on two penalty kicks, including the game-winner in overtime off the rebound of his own shot.
Virginia advances to the College Cup for the first time since 2014. This year’s national semifinals will be held in Cary, NC where Virginia won the ACC championship earlier this year, and where it won it’s last national championship five years ago.
“We talked about it after our ACC championship. The first thing we said holding that trophy is the road back to Cary. One by one we took care of business. We came out of this game healthy and were one of two games being played, so we get a little extra rest before Friday,” says head coach George Gelnovitch.
The game was scoreless until the 18th minute when Axel Gunnarsson chipped the ball to the back of the net to put Virginia up 1-0.
The ‘Hoos led 1-0 into the half, but SMU quickly answered when the Mustangs converted the penalty kick for the equalizer.
Daryl Dike drew a foul in the box and Joe Bell took the PK, which put the Cavaliers up 2-1. That’s when the Mustangs stepped it up. SMU defender Henrik Bredeli headed the ball into the net to even the score up once again.
“We all know what we are capable of and we knew that we could do it. Obviously all the fans out there were just another player. It was electric them being there. It was fantastic,” says Dike.
Virginia and SMU went to overtime. Dike drew another foul in the box and Bell to the PK, again.
Bell booted the ball and the save was made, however, it reflected off SMU which gave Bell an open shot for the goal.
Virginia will now play the winner of Wake Forest and UC-Santa Barbara in the national semifinals.