#1 UVa. women’s soccer rolls past Maryland in ACC Tournament quarters
The top-ranked Virginia women’s soccer team posted its first 20-win season in school history as it downed Maryland 6-1 in an ACC Tournament quarterfinal Sunday in front of 2,349 fans at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers (20-0) advance to meet Virginia Tech in Friday’s ACC semifinals in Cary, N.C., while the Terrapins (10-10) were eliminated from their final ACC Tournament.
Junior midfielder Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.) led the Cavaliers with two goals and an assist on the afternoon. Senior forward Amber Fry (Northfield, Ill.) and junior forward Mary Morgan (Norfolk, Va.) each had a goal and an assist. Junior midfielder Danielle Colaprico (Freehold, N.J.) and first-year forward Morgan Reuther (Chantilly, Va.) also added goals, while senior midfielder Annie Steinlage (Grand Haven, Mich.) and sophomore forward Brittany Ratcliffe (Williamstown, N.J.) each recorded a pair of assists.
“I thought despite going down a goal early we had a good performance today,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “I thought the players we had come off the bench today made a difference. They came in with fresh legs and gave us big contributions, both in the first and second half. Overall, we are happy to be moving on. Maryland is a good team. It is hard because you look at their record at .500, but they are better than a lot of teams in the country. Hopefully they will get into the NCAA Tournament.”
The Terrapins jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a goal in the fifth minute. Hayley Brock chased down a ball on the flank and crossed a ball that curled just inside the far post for her 12th goal of the season. It marked the first time the Cavaliers had trailed in a game sinceSept. 26 (at Duke) and ended Virginia’s shutout streak at 573:42, the fifth-longest streak in school history.
Trailing for just the fifth time all season, the Cavaliers continued to pressure the Maryland defense before unleashing a four-goal barrage to end the first half. Virginia drew even in the 27th minute as Steinlage sent a ball into the box that Brian headed in for the equalizer. Minutes later Brian set-up the go-ahead strike as her cross was one-timed in by Colaprico for her fifth goal of the season.
In the 39th minute, Steinlage’s pass into the box was flicked by Fry to Reuther, who fired in her first career goal and became the 14th Cavalier to score this season. Brian closed out the first half scoring in the 44th minute. After a foul about 24 yards out by the Terps, Brian curled in the ensuing free kick for her second goal of the afternoon and her 12th of the season. Brian, the 2012 ACC Tournament MVP, now has five goals and four assists in six career ACC Tournament games, including the game-winning assist in each of Virginia’s last four games in the tournament.
“I thought our response to going down was terrific,” said Swanson. “We were patient and stuck to the game plan. Annie played a great ball to Morgan on the first goal. We were able to keep the pressure on them as that half wore down and were able to get a few more goals.”
Virginia continued to create chances throughout the second half and added a pair of late goals to make the final score 6-1. In the 82nd minute, Ratcliffe’s ball to the far post was headed in by Fry for her fourth goal of the season. It also marked the first time in Fry’s career that she has scored in consecutive games. Morgan closed out the scoring in the 88th minute as she headed in a Ratcliffe corner kick for her second goal of the year.
Overall, Virginia outshot Maryland 24-5 and had an 8-3 corner kick advantage. First-year goalkeeper Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas) made one save over the first 77 minutes before Churchill O’Connell (McLean, Va.) came on for the final 13 minutes, recording one save as well. Rachelle Beanlands made one save in goal for Maryland in the first half before Kristene Mumby made four saves in the second half.
The crowd of 2,349 for Sunday afternoon’s game was the fourth largest in Cavalier women’s soccer history, as the five largest crowds have come this season.
Virginia, the top seed in the ACC Tournament, will play No. 4 seed Virginia Tech in the semifinals after the Hokies edged No. 5 seed Notre Dame 2-1 in double overtime in the quarterfinals. The semifinal match will kick off at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., and will be broadcast online by ESPN3.
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