In Virginia’s first 20 matches of the season, Andreas Ueland scored one goal.
The freshman defender scored two in the first 15 minutes of Virginia’s 3-0 victory over St. John’s on Saturday night in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at Klöckner Stadium. To make the performance even sweeter, Ueland’s best friend, Einar Lye, plays midfield for St. John’s.
“It was especially nice to get those two goals against him,” Ueland said. “I can talk to my boys back home about it.”
Behind Ueland’s two goals, the Cavaliers (19-1-1) punched their ticket to the Elite Eight with a dominant win over the Red Storm (14-5-1). UVa controlled possession and took advantage of corner kicks to grab a commanding early lead.
Virginia earned a corner kick in the third minute of the match. The ball came from the left corner to the far right post, where Ueland easily headed the ball into the net. In just three minutes, Virginia held the lead.
“Getting a goal like Andreas’ header early on, it’s the best case scenario,” Virginia midfielder Joe Bell said. “They have to start pushing for a goal, and it opens up space a little bit more and allows us to play a little more freely. We love being in control of games, and I think getting that early goal gives us the best chance to do that.”
St. John’s struggled possessing the ball in the opening period. The Red Storm, fresh off a 2-1 win over Syracuse, seemed a bit deflated after allowing an opening goal so quickly.
About 10 minutes later, Ueland headed another corner kick into the back of the net to give Virginia a 2-0 lead. This header was a bit more controversial, though.
St. John’s goalkeeper Jan Hoffelner and Ueland both went up for the ball directly in front of the net. Ueland and Hoffelner made contact, and Hoffelner wanted a foul called, but the officials let the goal count and didn’t call a foul. Hoffelner then earned a yellow card for arguing with the official at midfield and throwing the ball into the air in disgust.
The Red Storm faced an insurmountable deficit after Ueland’s second goal. Through 21 matches this season, the Cavaliers have yet to allow more than a single goal in a match.
UVa added an insurance goal with nine minutes to go in the first half. Daryl Dike was taken down in the box, and UVa was awarded a penalty. Bell took the kick and his shot beat a diving Hoffelner to the lower left portion of the goal. Hoffelner made contact with the ball, but it deflected into the goal and UVa led 3-0 heading into halftime.
The Cavaliers kept up the pressure in the second half, but they weren’t able to extend their lead. Instead they controlled the ball and settled for an impressive 3-0 victory.
With the win, Virginia advances to the NCAA quarterfinals, where it will host the winner of UCF and SMU. It’s the first time Virginia has made the NCAA quarterfinals since winning the national championship in 2014.
“It’s massive to be playing in December,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “If you’re playing in December, you’re doing something right.”