Keith Meyer scored off a throw-in by Voga Wallace in the 86th minute to give Virginia a 3-2 victory over George Mason yesterday in the championship game of the Virginia Intercollegiate League soccer tournament before 4,500 at George Mason.
The nationally 10th-ranked Cavaliers (16-1-2), who had been rated third most of the season, gained the ball deep in the right corner. Wallace, whose acrobatic, somersault throw-ins have set up three scores this season, threw the ball deep into the box, where Meyer outleaped two defenders and headed it in from 10 feet.
"It wasn't any set play," said Wallace, a junior defender who attended Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring. "I just wanted to put the ball where it would be dangerous."
"I usually line up at the eighteens (the top of the penalty area), but this time I stayed in front of the goalie," said Meyer. "Luckily, the two defenders . . . both missed the ball."
The seventh-ranked Patriots (18-1-0), who had not previously faced a top 20 team this season, started cautiously and fell behind four minutes into the game. Cavalier forward Jeff Gaffney, one of 14 Washington-area players on the Virginia team, headed a cross high over the head of George Mason fullback Scott Shiffert and collected the ball behind the defense. His 20-yard shot into the left corner beat goalie Ken Bernstein at 4:30.
George Mason tied in the 55th minute as left wing John McIntyre carried down the left wing and cut inside. His 20-yard shot was stopped by goalie Steve Baer, who played very well and made three saves, but the ball popped loose and forward Mike Jung scored on the rebound.
George Mason took the lead at 68:23 when McIntyre again worked down the left wing and passed to Fred Thompson on the right. Thompson pushed the ball inside to Carlo Bosco, who got his fourth goal.
The Patriots' defense, which played inconsistently all afternoon, allowed the Cavaliers to tie at 70:50. Brian Vernon, a sophomore who attended Annandale High School, broke through the backline but was tripped by Shiffert in the box. A penalty kick was awarded, and Gaffney beat Bernstein, who had six saves, to the left corner for his 14th goal this year.