CHARLOTTESVILLE, NOV. 11 -- The University of Virginia men's soccer team needed one half to solve Richmond in their NCAA first-round tournament match today. But by the time the Virginia women's team snapped out of its first-half funk, it was too late.
The 10th-ranked men's squad (11-5-6) used Ben Crawley's goal early in the second half and a stingy defense to defeat the Spiders, 1-0, before 2,215 spectators at Scott Stadium.
Earlier, the third-ranked women's team (18-3) generated little offense and was upset by No. 8 Connecticut, 1-0, in a quarterfinal game at University Hall Field.
While the season for Coach Lauren Gregg's team came to a disappointing end, Bruce Arena's squad plays next weekend in the second round. The Cavaliers, defending NCAA co-champions, will play North Carolina at a site to be determined late tonight. The Tar Heels edged Wake Forest, 2-1, Saturday night.
For one half, Richmond perfectly executed its choking defensive strategy against Virginia's technical passing attack. Every time the Cavaliers tried to link together short passes at the top of the penalty area, the Spiders (16-6-1) clogged the zone, and usually cleared the ball from danger.
"The way to beat them is to go over the top," Arena said. "In the first five minutes of the second half our guys had the whole thing all figured out. It was just a matter of time before we created some good chances."
In the 61st minute the switch to a high-ball attack paid off as Crawley scored his eighth goal of the season on a seven-yard shot.
Richie Williams created the sequence with a cross over the defense and into the penalty area. Neither team could control the bouncing ball, but Crawley intercepted a poor clearing pass and sent a low shot from the left side just inside the right post.
"The goalie was at the far post and he sprinted back to protect the near post," Crawley said. "The far side was wide open for me."
Although they played without senior midfielder Jeff Agoos, a player of the year candidate who has an ankle injury, the Cavaliers didn't allow Richmond a shot on goal for the final 64 minutes.
Leigh Cowlishaw, the nation's fourth-leading scorer with 21 goals, and teammate George Dearnaley (14 goals) each had a first-half shot stopped by goalkeeper Jeff Causey. That was it as Virginia had a 9-2 advantage in shots.
"It's been a tough year, but the last two or three weeks we've been playing our best soccer," Arena said. "I really think we're going to be a team to be reckoned with in this tournament."
In the women's game, Angela Gibbons scored in the 26th minute as the Huskies (14-7-1) advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 1984. Except for shutout losses to four-time defending champion North Carolina, Virginia had scored in every game and was averaging 2.7 goals a game.
"Lauren had us prepared and it was up to us on the field," junior forward Cindy Kunihiro said. "We just didn't give it all in the first half."
Virginia, 0-4 in the NCAA tournament since 1987 despite 60 regular season victories, had its best scoring chance in the final seconds. Kunihiro's six-yard shot through a crowd was smothered by goalie Wendy Logan as time expired.
Connecticut.... 1... 0.....1
GOALS -- Gibbons 25:53.
SHOTS -- Connecticut 7, Virginia 8.
SAVES -- Connecticut: Logan 3; Virginia: Rippe 4. MEN
GOALS -- Crawley 60:22.
SHOTS -- Richmond 2, Virginia 9.
SAVES -- Richmond: Bruklis 2; Virginia: Causey 2.
St. Louis 1, George Mason 0: In St. Louis, John Lynn scored on a sliding shot 19 minutes into the second half to lift the 12th-ranked Billikens over the 15th-ranked Patriots in an NCAA first-round game.
The Patriots (13-6-4) had seven shots on goal, all in the second half. Freshman goalkeeper Ricardo Leite made three saves. The Billikens' next opponent is Indiana University.