Women’s soccer: No. 15 UVA advances in NCAA Tournament

virginia soccerThe No. 15 UVA (14-4-2) women’s soccer team advanced in the NCAA Tournament, posting a 4-1 win over Monmouth (14-5-2) on Friday night at Klöckner Stadium.

Kristen McNabb (Montville, N.J.) scored the first goal of the match, while Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) notched two goals and Morgan Reuther (Chantilly, Va.) capped the scoring for Virginia on the way to the victory.

Virginia led 2-0 at the half and never trailed in the match. With the win, the Cavaliers will now face Penn State in the second round of action next Friday (Nov. 18).

“We started slow tonight,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “The best soccer we played tonight came early in the second half. There’s a difference between getting a result and having a good performance. Obviously, we’ll take the result and feel positive about that, but I don’t know that we feel good about the performance. You have to credit Monmouth for how hard they competed tonight.

“We’ve been struggling to find our consistency and will have to play better for the long haul over 90 minutes. We’re going to have to be much more consistent and compete at a higher level moving forward because the competition continues to improve each time out in this tournament.”

Virginia struck first, scoring in the 25th minute off a header from McNabb. Junior defender Megan Reid (Orinda, Calif.) sent a serve into the box from just outside the midfield circle on the Hawks’ half of the field. McNabb leaped at the penalty marker and headed the ball over the keeper and into the net for the 1-0 lead.

A minute later, Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) was taken down in the box, setting up a penalty kick for the Cavaliers. Shaffer took the penalty kick, firing it past the keeper for the 2-0 lead.

At the half, Virginia held a 9-1 advantage in shots.

Virginia extended the lead with a second goal from Shaffer in the 57th minute. Ayan Adu (Ashburn, Va.) sent in a service from the near sideline to Shaffer at the top of the box. The junior midfielder fired the shot on goal, slipping it past the keeper and the near post for the score.

Monmouth got on the board in the 72nd minute. The Hawks took a corner kick that the Cavaliers didn’t fully clear. Alexis McTamney sent the ball in from the far side of the box to Rachael Ivanicki who put it in from three yards out by the near post to cut the lead to 3-1.

Virginia got its fourth goal of the night in the 85th minute when Reuther put one in off the top of the crossbar and over the line. Hana Kerner (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) served a ball into the box where Megan McCool (Glenside, Pa.) tapped it forward to Reuther for the goal and the 4-1 lead.

The lead held through the final five minutes of play as Virginia secured the victory.

augusta free press news