No. 14 Virginia battles to scoreless draw with Clemson

virginia soccerFor the third straight match and sixth time this season the Cavaliers went to overtime, but there was no golden goal as No. 14 Virginia (8-3-4, 3-1-3 ACC) and Clemson (8-4-2, 2-3-2 ACC) played to a scoreless draw.

Virginia rattled off 15 shots on the night, five of them on goal, but didn’t get one in the net as the Cavaliers recorded a third scoreless draw on the season. The defense was stout for the Cavaliers, limiting Clemson to only four shots on the night and none on frame. Clemson did not take a shot through either overtime period and only managed two shots in each period of regulation.

“It was a hard-fought game, and we certainly had our chances, but it was difficult to not get a goal tonight and we have to take responsibility for that,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “It’s our quality when we move forward to get the ball in the attacking third. We weren’t good enough tonight against a very competitive and organized Clemson team. This is what we’ve been getting and we have to do a better job breaking teams down. It’s a combination of a lot of things.

“Some positives are that we haven’t been giving up a lot of goals and the effort is there. We looked solid defensively tonight. There are some things to grab onto, but in the attacking end we have to be better. That was the difference tonight.”

The Cavaliers got three chances off a set piece in the 25th minute as Virginia got a great service on the corner kick from the far side. Montana Sutton (Bedminster, N.J.) took the first shot that was blocked on the line by the Clemson keeper. Virginia got the ball back off the deflection and Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.) fired off two more shots that were both blocked by the Tiger defense.

At the half, the Cavaliers held a 7-to-2 advantage in shots over the Tigers. Clemson’s keeper had three saves, while neither of the two Clemson shots were on goal.

The second half was similar to the first with the Cavaliers taking six shots to only two from the Tigers. Three of the Virginia shots were on goal with one of the best strikes coming in the 80th minute as Hana Kerner (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) dribbled down the middle of the field, working her way past several defenders into the box. She set up a solid one-on-one opportunity, but the shot was saved by the Clemson keeper to keep the Cavaliers off the board.

Virginia would continue to have the run of play in the extra time, but Clemson kept the Cavaliers from converting on the way to the stalemate.

Virginia returns to action next week with a pair of ACC matches on the road. The Cavaliers will travel to Syracuse on Thursday (Oct. 19) before closing out the road trip at Boston College on Sunday (Oct. 22).


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