Latsko hat trick helps No. 15 Virginia down Pittsburgh

Senior forward Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) tallied a hat trick and was one of two multiple-goal scorers for the Cavaliers as No. 15 Virginia (7-3-2, 2-1-1 ACC) defeated Pittsburgh (3-6-3, 0-3-1 ACC) by a score of 7-0 on Sunday (Oct. 1).

virginia soccerWith her hat trick and two assists, Latsko tied the single-game record for points in a game at Virginia with eight points. It ties the mark twice reached by Makenzy Doniak – once against Kentucky in the 2014 season and matched at NC State in the 2015 season.

Taryn Torres (Frisco, Texas) also added two goals, while Taylor Ziemer (Santa Rosa, Calif.) added a goal and an assist for the Cavaliers. Olivia Hazelrigg (Rolling Hills, Calif.) capped the scoring with her first goal of the season on a late penalty kick.

“We have been steadily improving as a team, so it was good to see our improved play translate into some goals,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “Pitt has a good team and this is never an easy place to play, so we are pleased to get a result. The key for us, though, is to continue to work hard and get better.”

Latsko got the Cavaliers on the board in the 13th minute, notching her first goal of the season in front of her hometown crowd. Latsko took the pass near the top of the box from Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.) and rocketed the shot into the goal to start the scoring.

The Cavaliers added two more goals in the 17th minute, both assisted by Latsko. The first of the two goals came from Ziemer after an indirect free kick in the box. Ziemer’s goal was set up after Pitt played the ball back to the keeper near the top of the six-yard box where she scooped the ball up, resulting in the foul call. Latsko quickly took the free kick, passing the ball over to Ziemer who fired it in the net for the 2-0 lead.

Seconds later, the Cavaliers got possession again with Latsko racing down the far side of the box. She sent the cross in where Torres headed it down back past the keeper and the far post to give Virginia the 3-0 lead.

Virginia moved out to a 4-0 lead in the 26th minute when Torres found the net for a second time on the afternoon. Pitt couldn’t clear the ball following a Cavalier corner kick that resulted in the ball bouncing around in the box before Torres, waiting at the top of the box, would chest it down to her feet. She side-stepped a Panther defender and buried the shot from 17 yards out, slipping it in right under the crossbar.

Latsko started the scoring again in the second half, finding the net for a second time in the 57th minute. The senior forward dispossessed a Pittsburgh defender at the top of the box, turned and fired the shot to the left of the keeper for the 5-0 lead.

The senior forward recorded her hat trick in the 63rd minute. A free kick for Ziemer from the top of the box was knocked down by the Pittsburgh keeper, but she failed to control it and Latsko took the rebound and knocked it back into the goal for the 6-0 lead.

Hazelrigg extended the lead to seven goals for the Cavaliers in the 79th minute when she successfully converted a penalty kick. Lorato Sargeant (Great Falls, Va.) was taken down from behind in the box as she raced down the far side with the ball, setting up the penalty kick for the Hoos. Hazelrigg lined up the kick and buried it, giving the Cavaliers the 7-0 advantage.

The penalty kick from Hazelrigg capped the scoring for the Cavaliers in the shutout victory.

Virginia will return to action on Thursday (Oct. 5), hosting Notre Dame in a 7 p.m. match at Klöckner Stadium. It will be the first in a three-match home stand for the Cavaliers.

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