#3 UVA women’s soccer blasts Pitt in regular-season finale, 6-1

uva soccerThe third-ranked UVA women’s soccer team closed out the 2014 regular season Saturday night by downing Pitt 6-1 at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers (17-1, 9-1 ACC) extended their winning streak to seven games, while the Panthers saw their season end with a 6-12 record (2-8 ACC).

The Virginia fourth-years celebrated Senior Night in style as Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.) scored twice in her return from duty with the United States Women’s National Team and Danielle Colaprico (Freehold, N.J.) added a goal. Junior Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.), sophomore Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) and first-year Stephanie Krouskos (Alpharetta, Ga.) also scored for the Cavaliers, who tied a season high with six goals.

“This was a good lead-in into the ACC Tournament,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “It was good to get Morgan back and have a game before the ACCs. We had a good week of practice and now we need to have another one as we head into the postseason. We are excited for the ACC Tournament and the opportunity we will have next week.”

The Cavaliers controlled play from the start but didn’t take the lead until the 31st minute. After Tina Iordanou (Upper Brookville, N.Y.) was fouled just outside the box, Brian drilled a 20-yard free kick around the wall and inside the near post to give Virginia the lead. Brian struck again six minutes later as Shaffer sent a through ball to Brian who scored her second goal of the night, sixth of the season, on the breakaway. It marked the seventh career multi-goal game for Brian, her second this season, as she returned to the Virginia lineup after missing the last five games while playing with the United States in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying.

“Morgan is playing some of the best soccer of her career right now,” said Swanson. “She was very good at the national team camps and in the qualifiers. We have a very motivated and in-form Morgan Brian, and that showed tonight. She had two great goals and almost had a third on a free kick off the crossbar.”

Virginia extended the advantage to 3-0 in the 60th minute as Emily Sonnett (Marietta, Ga.) made a run from her center back position into the attack and threaded a ball to Doniak, who turned and fired a shot inside the far post for her team-leading 13th goal of the season. The score also marked the sixth consecutive game Doniak has scored a goal, the third-longest streak in Virginia history.

Colaprico notched her sixth goal of the season in the 66th minute. She stole a ball in the midfield and dribbled to the top of the box, where she blasted a shot just under the crossbar to make the score 4-0. In the 74th minute Shaffer received a pass from Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) and fired a shot off the underside of the crossbar and in for her fifth goal of the year.

Pitt got on the scoreboard in the 81st minute when Taylor Pryce scored her fourth goal of the season on a pass over the top from Roosa Arvas. The final goal of the night came in the 87th minute as Krouskos scored her first career goal. She received a pass from Latsko at the top of the box and chipped a ball over the keeper for the sixth Cavalier goal of the night.

Overall, Virginia outshot Pitt 36-3 and had an 11-1 corner kick advantage. Sophomores Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas) and Jessie Ferrari (Fairfax, Va.) each played a half in goal for Virginia. Taylor Francis made seven saves in goal for the Panthers before giving way to Margot Shore, who had two saves.

The win extended Virginia’s home field win streak to 29 games, the longest active streak in the nation and the eighth longest streak in Division I women’s soccer history.

Virginia will begin postseason play next week at the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. The Cavaliers will be joined by Florida State, North Carolina and Notre Dame in the four-team event. The semifinals will be Nov. 7 with games at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The championship game will be Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. The bracket will be announced Sunday following the conclusion of regular season play.

         
 

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