The fourth-ranked UVA women’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the 10th consecutive season with a 3-0 second round victory Friday night over No. 21 Rutgers. The Cavaliers (20-2) posted their second straight 20-win season with the victory, while the Scarlet Knights had their season end with a 13-6-1 record.
The Cavaliers broke open a scoreless game with three goals in a seven-minute span early in the second half. Sophomore Tina Iordanou (Upper Brookville, N.Y.) and juniors Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.) and Brittany Ratcliffe (Williamstown, N.J.) scored for Virginia.
“We expected a very difficult game tonight,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “Rutgers is one of the most organized teams we have played this year. They do a good job of defending and limiting chances. We stuck to the game plan and the game really turned in those seven minutes when we scored three goals. The first goal was going to be key tonight. Had they gotten the first goal, they would have gotten more resilient and it would have been tougher on us. When we got the first goal, it forced them to come out and play a little more to try and get back into the game.”
Virginia controlled play in the first half, outshooting Rutgers 10-1 and having an 8-1 corner kick advantage, but couldn’t capitalize on those chances as the game went to intermission scoreless. The best chance came with two minutes remaining as Morgan Reuther’s (Chantilly, Va.) shot off a through ball was saved by the keeper.
The Cavaliers took the lead in the 50th minute as Iordanou headed in a corner kick from senior Danielle Colaprico (Freehold, N.J.). It was Iordanou’s third goal of the year, all of them off corner kicks and all of them game-winning goals. The assist was Colaprico’s 17th of the season, extending her single-season school record, and the 42nd of her career, tying the UVa career record set by Lauren Alwine (2008-11).
Virginia doubled the lead just 40 seconds later, tying the school record for quickest two goals in a postseason game, a mark that was set in last week’s first round 8-0 victory over high point. Ratcliffe played a ball into the box for Doniak, who turned a fired in her team-leading 16th goal of the season. For Doniak, who has scored in nine of Virginia’s last 10 games, it was her 46th career goal, moving her into sole possession of second place in Virginia history.
Ratcliffe closed out the scoring in the 57th minute, finishing a chance from 10 yards out after a pass from Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.) to notch her 10th goal of the season.
Overall, Virginia outshot Rutgers 17-3 and had an 11-1 corner kick edge. Sophomore Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas) needed to make just one save to record her sixth shutout of the season. Casey Murphy made four saves at the other end for Rutgers.
The Cavaliers will meet No. 14 Kentucky in the round of 16 on Sunday at 5 p.m. The Wildcats advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in program history with a 3-1 victory over Arizona State in Friday’s first game at Klöckner.