No. 10 UVa. women’s soccer opens with win over No. 13 WVU

The No. 10 Virginia women’s soccer team opened the 2011 season with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over No. 13 West Virginia in front of 998 fans Friday night at Klöckner Stadium. Gloria Douglas’ (Fayetteville, N.C.) goal in the 89th minute gave the Cavaliers a win in their home opener for the 22nd consecutive season.

“This was a great result, especially for the first game of the season,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “It really had the feel of a NCAA Tournament game; it had that intensity. I thought we did a lot of good things, other than a 10-second period of the first half when we gave up a goal against the run of play. The way we were moving the ball and the chances we were getting, I was confident we could get some goals.”

West Virginia (0-1) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute, scoring on the game’s first shot. After a corner kick, the ball bounced around in the box until it was headed in by Erica Henderson. The Mountaineers held that lead until the 23rd minute as Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.) blasted in a cross by Molly Menchel (Alexandria, Va.) for her first career goal to even the score. The Cavaliers nearly took the lead in the 31st minute as Menchel’s long-range shot rattled off the crossbar, but the game remained scoreless at halftime.

Virginia (1-0) had the better of possession and chances in the second half, but the game remained tied until late in the second half. In the 89th minute, Julia Roberts (Frederick, Md.) flicked on a throw-in to Douglas, who was at the top of the six-yard area. She turned on her defender and as she fell she slotted a shot past the outstretched keeper and just inside the far post. It was the sophomore’s fourth career game-winning goal.

“That was a great finish by Gloria,” said Swanson. “She could easily start for us, but she gives us so much of a spark coming off the bench. She has scored some big goals for us and tonight was another one.”

Overall Virginia outshot West Virginia 12-7, while the Mountaineers had a 6-4 corner kick edge. Chantel Jones (Midlothian, Va.) made two saves for the Cavaliers, while Sara Keane made three saves at the other end for West Virginia.

The Cavaliers continue their season-opening nine-game homestand on Sunday as they host Richmond. Game time at Klöckner Stadium is 7 p.m.

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