Kickers and Virginia Tie In Friendly.

RICHMOND, VA — The defending USL-2 champion Richmond Kickers battled the defending NCAA Champions University of Virginia to a scoreless draw in a unique Pro-Am Challenge Saturday night in front of a crowd of 2,505. Despite several chances, neither team could break the stalemate, each shutting out the opposition.

Despite a strong defense, the Kickers saw two close calls narrowly miss the target to open the match. First in the 23rd minute, newcomer Dave Hertel received the ball on the right side. Cutting inside, he carried the ball through the midfield and struck from 18 yards but Cavaliers goalkeeper Diego Restrepo smothered his attempt.

Two minutes later, rookie midfielder and UVA alum Jonathan Villanueva lined up a free kick 20 yards out. With a left-footed strike, he sent the ball over the defensive wall, beating the goalkeeper but rattling the woodwork. As the ball rebounded off the right post, forward Matthew Delicate was unable to gain control of the rebound and it was cleared by the UVA defense.

The best chance of the night for the University of Virginia came two minutes after the second half restart when a long cross from the left side was played across the box to the far post. Forward Shawn Barry saved the ball from slipping over the end line with an artistic bicycle to keep it in play. Defender T.J. Cyrus collected the ball and sent a short cross to the middle of the box to a wide open Jimmy Simpson, who misfired from five yards out.

A battle in the midfield resulted in a couple of close calls throughout the second half but the Kickers best chance came in the 88th minute when forward Edson Elcock was played into the box. Although he was able to beat Restrepo, the angle was too tough, causing him to miss the open goal and graze past the left post.

The Kickers regular season begins in two weeks, when they host the Harrisburg City Islanders on Pro Pass Kickoff Night, Saturday, April 17. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. at the University of Richmond Stadium.

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