Women’s soccer: No. 11 Virginia blanks UNCW
The No. 11 Virginia (1-0-0) women’s soccer team scored a goal in each half to pick up a 2-0 victory on the road at UNCW (0-1-0) on Friday night in the season-opener for both teams.
Sophomore Alissa Gorzak (Naperville, Ill.) scored the game-winner for the Cavaliers, finding the net in the 18th minute, while freshman Taryn Torres (Frisco, Texas) notched her first collegiate goal in the 52nd minute to provide the final margin of victory.
Virginia outshot the Seahawks 5-to-2 on the night, limiting the home team to one shot in each half. The Cavaliers also out-paced UNCW in corner kicks with a 7-to-2 advantage in that category.
Freshman goalkeeper Laurel Ivory (Surfside, Fla.) picked the victory in her first appearance for the Cavaliers, turning in a clean sheet in her collegiate debut.
“It was a hard-fought game on both sides, but in the end I thought we deserved the result,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “UNCW was organized and difficult to break down, but I thought we did just enough to create the chances we did and get the win. I am confident we will learn from this game and continue to improve, which is what we need to do.”
Virginia got on the board first as Gorzak capitalized on a turnover near the top of the box at the 18-minute mark. The sophomore side-stepped a defender and put the ball in the net past the diving keeper to get the Cavaliers on the board.
The Seahawks had a chance to answer seconds later, taking the kick following the Cavalier goal and coming quickly down the field. UNCW’s Frannie Phillips fired her shot high, hitting the crossbar.
The lone goal would be it for the half as Virginia held a 2-to-1 edge in shots on the home-standing Seahawks at the break.
The Cavaliers took a 2-0 lead in the 52nd minute when the freshman, Torres, notched her first collegiate goal. Virginia sent the ball into the box where it was knocked down, but the Seahawk defense was unable to clear it as the UNCW keeper went down. Torres took her shot and gave Virginia the two-goal lead.
Virginia will continue to play on the road next week, traveling to face No. 1 West Virginia at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 24. It’s the first of six matches this season for UVA against teams ranked in the top 20 at the start the 2017 season.