No. 9 UVA posts 7-0 win over UC Irvine in opener

uva athleticsOffense was on display for the No. 9 UVA women’s soccer team on opening night as the Cavaliers (1-0) picked up a 7-0 victory over UC Irvine (0-1) at Klöckner Stadium on Friday (Aug. 23).

The Cavaliers got goals from six different players, including a two-goal performance from sophomore Claire Constant (Alexandria, Va.). It was the first career goal for Constant, who was joined by freshman Diana Ordonez (Prosper, Texas) in notching a first career goal.

Sophomore Alexa Spaanstra (Brighton, Mich.) hit the opening goal for the Cavaliers, while sophomore Rebecca Jarrett (Washington Township, N.J.), senior Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.) and junior Anna Sumpter (Charlottesville, Va.) also scored goals. Sumpter and Ordonez both finished the night with a goal and two assists each, while Spaanstra added an assist to go with her game-winning goal.

Junior Laurel Ivory (Surfside, Fla.) and sophomore Michaela Moran (Greeley, Colo.) combined for the shutout in goal.

“A lot to like tonight, but also a lot to improve on moving forward.,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “We did a good job in transition, especially defensively, to deny them opportunities, but it was our decisions in the attack that really made the difference. We did a good job of finding the spaces within their shape even as they changed formations, which was good to see. Also, our conversion rate in terms of our finishing was good. Again, it is early and we are still very much a team in progress.”

The Cavaliers’ first goal of the season came in the 11th minute when a deflected ball near midfield fell to the feet of Spaanstra. The sophomore midfielder knifed down the middle of the field before firing her shot to give Virginia the 1-0 lead.

Virginia extended the lead two minutes later when Jarrett took advantage of a turnover in the Anteater’s defensive third. The sophomore forward took the one-touch shot off the clearance from the keeper and sent it back in over her head for the 2-0 Cavalier lead.

The lead grew to 3-0 in the 22nd minute when McCool got in on the scoring action off a connection from Ordonez and Sumpter. With the Cavaliers playing the ball into the attacking third, Ordonez sent the ball out wide to the right side of the box where Sumpter sent the one-touch cross into the center of the box for a header from McCool.

The Cavaliers held the 3-0 lead at the break.

Sumpter notched the fourth Virginia goal of the night in the 60th minute. Spaanstra dropped the ball in behind the defense Sumpter in stride in the box. The junior maintained possession of the ball and kept her feet to get around a lunging challenge from the UC Irvine keeper and scored on the empty net for the 4-0 lead.

The Cavaliers pushed out to a five-goal lead off the Constant goal in the 75th minute. A foul set up the scoring opportunity as Courtney Petersen (Canton, Mich.) took the kick, serving the ball into the box where it was tapped forward by Sumpter. Constant finished the play off Sumpter’s pass, striking the ball in stride from three yards out for the goal.

Ordonez notched her first career goal in the 83rd minute on a breakaway following a long outlet pass down the middle of the field. The freshman made a move to get around the one defender in her way before racing down the remaining open field to beat the keeper with her shot from near point-blank range inside the six.

Constant then capped the scoring with her second goal, converting with a header off a free kick from Ordonez. The shot from Ordonez was saved by the keeper, but she was unable to collect the ball and instead knocked it up in the air where Constant took it off the bounce in front of the goal.

Virginia will return to action on Sunday afternoon, hosting Liberty (0-1) in a 2 p.m. match at Klöckner Stadium.

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