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UVa. women’s soccer loses in PKs in College Cup semis

The Virginia women’s soccer team had its record-breaking 2013 season come to an end Friday night in the NCAA College Cup semifinals, falling in penalty kicks to UCLA following a 1-1 draw. The Cavaliers end the season at 24-1-1, setting a record for wins in a season, while the Bruins (21-1-3) advance to meet Florida State in Sunday’s national championship game.

uva-logo-new2“I want to congratulate UCLA on advancing to the final,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “They were everything we expected them to be. They are a good team that is solid at every position. It was a different game than our last three games, but I thought our team did extremely well. We were in a good position, with the lead late, but give them credit. They were able to tie it and pull it out in PKs. If we play this game 10 times, it will be just this close every time.”

The first half saw few early chances for either side. The best opportunity came in the 15th minute as a scramble in front of the UCLA goal resulted in a shot from junior midfielder Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.) over the bar. The teams traded opportunities for the remainder of the half, but neither side could put a shot on frame and the contest went into intermission scoreless.

The Cavaliers took the lead in the 73rd minute of play. Sophomore forward Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.) stole loose ball in the UCLA defensive end to set up the chance. She beat the keeper to the ball, dribbled around her and placed a shot into the vacated net for her 20th goal of the season. The goal tied the Virginia single-season goal-scoring record, set last year by Caroline Miller.

The Bruins answered in the 85th minute to draw even. Sarah Killion threaded a ball to Ally Courtnall, who slotted home her second goal of the season to tie the game for UCLA. The game remained tied and headed to overtime.

The teams traded chances in the extra periods, with the Cavaliers having the better of play in the first extra session and the Bruins having good chances in the second session. Neither team was able to convert those opportunities and the game ended in a 1-1 draw, with a penalty kick shootout needed to determine who advanced to the final.

Both teams converted their first two kicks, with junior midfielder Danielle Colaprico (Freehold, N.J.) and sophomore defender Emily Sonnett (Marietta, Ga.) making kicks for Virginia and Sam Mewis and Killion scoring for UCLA. After Lauren Kaskie made UCLA’s third attempt, Bruin keeper Katelyn Rowland saved first-year midfielder Alexis Shaffer’s (Cary, N.C.) kick to give UCLA the edge. To open the fourth round, redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Jessie Ferrari (Fairfax, Va.), who went in goal for Virginia in the shootout, saved Kodi Lavrusky’s shot, but Rowland followed with another save, this time on Brian’s kick. Rosie White made UCLA’s fifth attempt to clinch the shootout and give the Bruins a trip to the final.

Overall, UCLA outshot Virginia 16-9, marking the first time the Cavaliers had been outshot this season. The Bruins also had an 8-4 corner kick edge. First-year goalkeeper Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas) made two saves for the Cavaliers over the 110 minutes, while Rowland made one save for the Bruins.

Virginia, who reached the College Cup for the first time in 22 seasons, also set school records with 78 goals, 80 assists, 236 points and 16 shutouts this season.

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