A very defensive game in North Carolina today as the Cavs come away with their 6th title in a game both teams deserved to win.
The tightly contested match saw Akron dominate possession Barcelona-style, but fail to convert on numerous chances and build-ups.
Some bullets from this one:
• Virginia’s defense was stellar as advertised and most impressive to this writer was not one failure by the Cavs to stay with their men in crucial man marking situations. Each player was stellar on the backline for the Cavs with left back Hunter Jumper continually staying with crossing runs and making plays and right outside fullback Mike Volk nearly unbeatable when faced with one-on-one attacking threats. Kudos to the Cavs.
• Virginia midfielder Ross LaBeaux is a professional in waiting. LaBeaux consistently won possession in the middle of the field for UVA and knew when to push the play and when to lay back. Without getting to verbose, his game harkens the likes of the offensive d-mids for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal squads past and present. While that’s a strong compliment, it’s deserved on the day for LaBeaux.
• Where Akron can be faulted in this one is trying to get to cute on some offensive buildups. The best chance for the Zips to score was when they moved the ball quickly into and around the Cavs defensive third. Too often, striker Teal Bunbury held up the play or failed to unleash a shot when he had space–trying to play for the perfect one. A few more shots would have likely equaled a few more rebounds on a very rainy and wet day and maybe an Akron score.
Instead the Zips often delayed the strike allowing the Cavs to pack it in and making the opportunities all the more difficult.
• A well-called game both on the field and in the press box. Supremely enjoyable from a spectator standpoint in that regard.
• The best chance in this one came in the opening minutes with Will Bates smacking a cross from Jonathan Villanueva off the post. That being said, UVA super mid Villanueva was often too cute on the day culminating with an attempt at a Ronaldo-esque stutter step penalty kick that he duffed into Akron keeper David Meves arms.
Admittedly, TSG is not the best pub to preview this game. We’ve watched just a little of the college series this year.
From our rudimentary review, we’ll go out on a limp today and say the confidence, big college experience and a defense that looks downright comfy under pressure pushes Virginia to the top of the college soccer world.
You tell us who wins. Oh and if you didn’t see it, you must see UVA’s game winner on Friday.