#6 UVa. women’s soccer blasts #7 Penn State
The No. 6 Virginia women’s soccer team recorded a four-goal victory over a top-10 opponent for second straight game, downing No. 7 Penn State 5-1 Friday night in front of 2,609 fans at Klöckner Stadium. Five different Cavaliers scored as Virginia, who improved to 3-0 on the season.
Sophomore forward Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.) led the Cavaliers with a goal and an assist, while senior forward Gloria Douglas (Fayetteville, N.C.) and junior midfielder Danielle Colaprico (Freehold, N.J.) each had a pair of assists.
“This was another good result for us,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “It is still early in the season and we are still evolving as a team. No matter the result of this game, we are doing some things really well. We might be playing at a high level, especially for this point in the season, but we still aren’t where we want to be. The great teams get better throughout the year. From what I have seen from this group so far, they are not content with where they are, they want to get better.”
Penn State (1-1-1) took an early lead in the seventh minute of play. Mallory Weber’s cross found Maya Hayes inside the six-yard box, who tapped in her third goal of the season. It marked the first time this season that the Cavaliers have trailed.
The Cavaliers responded to their first deficit of the season in strong fashion, scoring three goals in an eight-minute span minutes after the PSU goal. Junior midfielder Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.) drew Virginia even in the 14th minute with a far post blast on a pass from Doniak for her second goal of the season. Less than five minutes later, Doniak gave Virginia the lead as she scored her second of the season off an assist from Douglas. Senior midfielder Kate Norbo (Roanoke, Va.) notched her first goal of the season in the 22nd minute, scoring on a breakaway set up by Colaprico to extend the advantage to 3-1. The Cavaliers took that lead into intermission.
Virginia wasted little time in the second half extending the lead to 4-1 as senior defender Shasta Fisher (Saugus, Calif.) scored off a give-and-go with Douglas just 73 seconds after halftime. It was Fisher’s first goal of the season. Sophomore forward Brittany Ratcliffe (Williamstown, N.J.) closed out the scoring the 78th minute as she poked a through-ball from junior Kaili Torres (Fleming Island, Fla.) past the charging keeper. It was Ratcliffe’s team-leading fourth goal of the season as she has found the back of the net in all three games this year.
“The thing I took away most from this game was our attitude,” said Swanson. “We went down that early goal, but we didn’t let affect us negatively. They got together and solved the problem on the field. They figured out to create some good chances and we finished really well.”
Overall Virginia outshot Penn State 27-9 and had a 5-2 corner kick advantage. First-year goalkeeper Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas) made two saves for Virginia, while the Nittany Lions’ Brett Eckerstrom made eight saves at the other end. The crowd of 2,609 was the fifth largest home record in school history among games that were doubleheaders with the men’s soccer team.
The Cavaliers will continue their homestand on Sunday as they host in-state foe Richmond. Game time at Klöckner Stadium is set for 5 p.m.
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