George Mason and Virginia each won, 1-0, in yesterday's semifinals of the Virginia Intercollegiate League soccer tournament, played before 1,500 in Fairfax.
The Patriots (18-0, ranked No. 7 nationally) got a goal from Colin Kerr late in their game to defeat James Madison and the Cavaliers (15-1-2, No. 10) beat William and Mary on Brian Vernon's first-half goal.
The winners will play for the championship Sunday at George Mason at 2 p.m.
George Mason, the only unbeaten and untied team in the top 20, dominated the Dukes (5-8-1) but were thwarted by 6-foot-3 goalie Eric Erdman, who had eight saves. The Patriots outshot James Madison, 14-3, and had an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks. In the first half alone, they sent 19 crosses into the penalty area.
"Madison is the type of team that will either play very offensively or very defensively," said Coach Richard Broad, whose Patriots beat the Dukes earlier this season, 5-2. "Today they were very defensive."
The Dukes, who stayed in their half of the field on defense most of the game, frustrated the Patriots until the 76th minute when Adolfo Alvarez, from 35 yards out, chipped a free kick to Mike Reynolds at the left post. Reynolds, one of six freshmen starting for the Patriots, headed the ball across the crease to Kerr, who put his 15th goal into the right corner.
"We've been working a lot on that play this week," said Reynolds, who shut down Ralph Cassagnol, the Dukes' leading scorer. "He (Alvarez) is supposed to chip the ball over a wall to Colin, but there wasn't a wall. So he passed to me and I was open."
Virginia, ranked third much of the season before last week's loss to Clemson, used ball control to take the midfield away from the Indians (11-5-5).
Each team had 11 shots, but Virginia's aggressive front line carried play. Vernon, who attended Annandale High School, scored at 20:05 when he stole a clearing pass and easily beat goalie Juergen Kloo.
Thirty fouls and five yellow cards were given out in the hard-played contest.