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Virginia Wins NCAA Title

Virginia won its first national title in 15 years Sunday afternoon, defeating Akron on penalty kicks after 110 scoreless minutes at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

The second-seeded Cavaliers converted three of five attempts, while the No. 1 Zips were successful just twice. Virginia goalkeeper Diego Restrepo stopped the first bid and Akron later hit the left post and then missed high in the fifth round as the Cavaliers claimed their sixth championship since 1989.

Virginia's Will Bates hit the post in the fifth minute, but Akron was superior throughout the second half in a spirited match played in rainy conditions.

An ACC team has won three straight NCAA titles, following Wake Forest in 2007 and Maryland last year.

By Steve Goff  |  December 13, 2009; 3:49 PM ET
Categories:  College Soccer  
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Next: DCU's Interest in Caleb Porter



Posted by: mikeva08 | December 13, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

congrats UVA!

Posted by: Pete803 | December 13, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Nailbiting ending. Hell, nailbiting game- two totally different approaches to the game, yet two shocking similar teams (both with nation-best offense and defense). I think the rain hurt what could've been a truly scintillating game

Posted by: carmines757 | December 13, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Both were very hard to crack.

In the end, I think the lack of experience/youth of the Akron offense were trumped by a seasoned UVA squad.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 13, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Congrads UVA.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | December 13, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

My god was that entire College Cup boring.

Posted by: zpennycook | December 13, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

boring? I think we watched two different games. but then, I find good defense interesting and UVA might not have dominated the midfield, but they played great defense.

and it hurt me -- as a maryland grad -- to type those words.

Posted by: troy6 | December 13, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

by the way, did anyone notice what restrepo yelled after the first missed PK? it was in spanish, but it would probably earned him a card had it not been the end of the season.

Posted by: troy6 | December 13, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I think most neutral fans, like me, would find it pretty boring. I had a German malt liquor (supposedly from the world's oldest brewery) in the 2nd half when it already seemed the game would be heading towards PKs. The contents of the bottle were more engrossing than what was on the tube.

Weisenheimer or something...

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 13, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Vamos, vamos Virginia, esta noche, tenemos que ganar!

Posted by: VamosUnited | December 13, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, this neutral fan didn't find it boring. I should say I started neutral and hoping for a great game but by the time my DVR kicked off (I missed OT) I was screaming at the TV. Apologies to VBB, but I thought that was a disgusting display of cynical hack job soccer. Virginia was slower to the ball and obviously less skillful almost to a man and compensated for that simply by fouling the attacker virtually every time they were beaten. (And 4-5-1 is no way to play ball.)

But what really took the cake was Kyle Martino. What a f'g HOMER! I watched Cat Whitehill call 2 womens' games including the final for UNC and virtually the only reason you would know she was a Tarheel was the other announcer kept reminding everyone. Martino should go do something else. He stinks.

At one point, when hack job Hunter Jumper (what a name for Wahoo, doesnt get any better than that, unless your birth certificate says Biff) got a well-deserved yellow, Martino actually said -- "Well he got there late and had no choice but to go at his feet." Whuuut? How about play it clean? Is that really the UVA mentality -- if you're beat you have no choice but to sweep the leg and take the yellow? I refuse to believe it on the evidence of one game, but I tell you that was not a "championship" display in my book.

I was really disappointed to plug in here and learn that UVA had won. Akron was a far superior team on the evidence of that game.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 13, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF...neutral? Oh, please. Let me're either a Virginia Tech or Maryland fan. Only those two fanbases would resort to the lame, played out 'UVA guy has preppy name' whining. That silly parenthetical gave you away.

Apparently you've never seen a soccer game before today. 'Professional' fouls happen all the time. Sometimes you whiff at the ball, and you take out the attacker to kill the attack. It happens at every serious level of soccer. Get over it.

And if Akron's so damn superior, maybe they should've scored. They did okay building the occasional attack. But the bottom line is that they went 220 minutes against top ACC competition this weekend and couldn't score once. Those 220 minutes include a very long stretch up a man against UNC. For all the work they did in the middle third, they couldn't make it count in the final third, and that's where championships are won and lost. They're no more deserving than Virginia.

Get over it, Hokie/Terp/whatever.

Go Hoos!

Posted by: DEFPOTEC1 | December 13, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Umm shoulda previewed that post it's more harsh personal and bitter than is warranted. Apologies.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 13, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Biff I have no rooting interest in the ACC. I like the way Wake plays ball, but I am no Terp or Hokie fan for sure, For all the hoopla I was expecting more out of UVA. (And you're right I was expecting more lethal attacking from Akron too.) Professional fouls may happen all the time, one at a time, but these came in big bunches as part of a definite pattern of play and this ref allowed cynical play to even up an unevenly skilled match.

Enjoy your cup, just don't look for a lot of congratulations.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 13, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately Steve has another post up so any time on DEFPOTEC1's post would be wasted.

Posted by: sitruc | December 13, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, Akron was missing their star striker and still managed to generate more dangerous chances than their vaunted ACC competition. Sorry, but Akron was more skilled, strung together more passes, pushed forward, dove less, and played less kickball. That particular brand of "ACC soccer" is nothing to be impressed by.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | December 13, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I read Restrepo's lips to say Hijo de Puta which is supposedly obscene but if everyone is saying it 24/7 then how can it be obscene?

Posted by: GeneWells | December 13, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, a few whiners come out of the woodwork to complain about defense. Welcome to soccer at a high level, defense wins championships. Did someone really say Akron generated more dangerous chances? After playing a man-up on UNC for 40 minutes, and playing two consecutive PK games...if you're playing 220 minutes with no goals, you are not generating chances.

In the mist and rain, the wise strategy was to play solid defense and counter. You build on defense, limit mistakes, and take opportunities and finish (hear that whiners about "chances" finish. You don't finish, you don't deserve a W). Both Virginia and Akron had two serious chances, Virginia in the air twice, and Akron on the ground twice. The rest of the shots, mostly off goal, didn't even cause a keeper to raise an eyebrow.

Losers always whine about chances and fouls, winners take home the Cup.

Posted by: VamosUnited | December 13, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Virginia definitely didn't play their best ball, and I'm led to believe that Akron didn't either. I think it's ludicrous to say that there is a huge talent gap between the teams- there isn't. I've only seen a couple of Akron games, and their individual ball control is unreal, but Virginia displayed solid defense and "just enough" offense ever since their early season sputters. Both teams should make it far again next season, most definitely. Seems like most of the nation's best players are sophomores or juniors this year

Posted by: carmines757 | December 13, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the Virginia Cavaliers.

Posted by: PremSoccerShop | December 13, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I AM a Hokie and I second anyone who has a problem with sucktard hackjob's Hunter Jumper's play in the College Cup. I will greatly look forward to that smirk getting wiped off his face in seasons to come.

That said, the Cavs deserve their title and I congratulate them for playing their game and winning another College Cup, despite being outclassed by both Wake and Akron.

Posted by: loosek | December 14, 2009 5:23 AM | Report abuse

This Hokie says congrats to UVA. Haven't seen the final yet, but I felt UVA's defense would somehow carry the day.

In their game against Wake, Wake possessed the ball better but UVA's defense had the answer, other than the own goal they gave up on Corben Bone's shot.

I don't think any reasonable person can deny that UVA's two goals against Wake were nice goals. Villanueva was GREAT on both. And I don't see how anyone can say that match was boring. Some dangerous chances on both sides, and an electrifying golden-goal finish.

True, the final sounds more like a rain-soaked slog-fest, but UVA found a way to win in PK's.

Posted by: Ron16 | December 14, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to UVa, but they need to be careful that they don't become the Duke basketball team in men's soccer. I'm not sure if I saw a foul that they committed in which they didn't complain about afterwards to the referee. Barlow seemed to be the worst at whining.

On the other hand, when Akron committed a foul, they tended to keep their mouth shut and go back and get ready for the restart. Akron is definitely a force to reckon with, especially with only 1 senior. I can see why Porter may want to stay.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | December 14, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

When Akron commmitted a foul, it tended to be a shove into the advertising boards.

UVA '07

Posted by: giardinie | December 14, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad we got the win, but I think UVa dropped back defensively because they were tired, and were looking for the transitional goal (which they are quite good at).

Look at the left side of the field towards the end -- it was useless. It killed off drive after drive. I think UVa did what it had to do, because they had spent their energy in the first 45. Remember Tchani's best opportunity? That was some fantastic overlapping on the left side for the cross -- those legs just weren't there later.

Oh, and what a dbag name Hunter Jumper is :)

And the ref called a pretty loose game, so UVa took advantage of it.

Posted by: Reignking | December 14, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

In the first half, Jumper (and a couple other Hoos) destroys Akron's Ampai from behind for a foul. The mugging itself isn't so bad, but Jumper leaves his boot in late and low and tries to scrape Ampai's head with it. It was obvious even without the slo-mo replay. ESPN's camera's cut from Ampai on the ground to a smirking Jumper backpedaling towards his goal. EVERYONE who plays UVA next year saw that game and will remember this punk's antics.

I take nothing away from the Hoos and their title. They earned it. They played a great College Cup and they have some quality, especially with Tchani and Villanueva. I for one was pretty impressed with what I saw from Wake and Akron, but the Hoos took care of business and that wins titles.

Posted by: loosek | December 14, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

loosek: yes, I too was surprised by some of the quality out there. Too many times you can have one-sided, park-the-bus games, but I saw talent and good play out there.

Posted by: Reignking | December 14, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Labeling Jumper as a hack based on those two games is, sadly, quite reasonable. Probably his two worst games I've seen him in, either this season or last. But, he's a very solid left back with a Burch-like left, only with much better crossing (has led to several goals) and a functional right foot. Trash him all you want but if we picked him up in the Superdraft in a couple of years it would not be a bad thing

Posted by: carmines757 | December 14, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I just watched the game as a neutral too.

1) As with the Wake/UVA game, Akron looked much more fluid and dynamic than UVA. UVA played great team defense, but Wake & Akron played much better team soccer in general, in terms of moving the ball, moving as a group, runs off the ball, combinations. Too many UVA advances were just 2-3 guys on their own with no ideas.

2) Villaneuva did some great stuff vs. Wake, but was pretty invisible against Akron.

3) Reffing in both UVA games I watched seemed pretty solid, and by solid, I mean consistent and fair. Better than most MLS games I've seen.

4) My impression of a lot of the UVA fouls is that they were more "body control" fouls than cynical hackdowns (with one or two exceptions). A lot of the UVA guys chase the ball at 100 miles an hour and when someone puts a move on them, the UVA guy is prone to clattering into them.

5) I had no idea that in college games you could re-sub in a player (Dimas came back in for UVA after being subbed out). And the idea that literally anyone on the roster can take PKs at the end of the game is crazy!

Posted by: edgeonyou | December 14, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has watched the Akron team many times this season, it was clear that they were hurting without Ampipitakwang at the end of both games. Also, maybe even more of an issue is that they were missing Nanchoff, their leading assist man for the entire NCAA tournament. This really slowed down their offense. Also, Ampi would have made a big difference in the PKS at the end. I am proud of the way my Zips handled themselves in a professional manner. They didn't argue calls and they played cleanly. PKs are a shame of a way to determine the championship, but that's what the rules are.

Posted by: Akron13 | December 15, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think this College Cup will cement the fact that college soccer in the U.S. neither contributes to creating international-class football players for the USA, nor advances the US game on global standards. Akron and Wake were the top 2 teams, and I think would have had a fine game -- in good playing condition, if they had met for the title. Akron does have superior skill with most of their starting lineup having US international youth experience, but they truly lacked a finisher -- their strikers were slow-footed in the box or missed badly from distance. Virginia, on the other hand, showed more "typical American" defensive strategy that causes the continued bad impression of the U.S. game abroad. That said, Virginia won by the rules, and I congratulate them. There are a lot of good young players in the US collegiate game -- I hope they get the football education they need if Bradley or his successor is to move the USA up in world rankings. MLS is probably the highest any of these players will ever see, however.

Posted by: Bilbao4eva | December 15, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

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