Women’s Soccer: #3 UVA defeats Radford in NCAA Tournament opener

UVA soccer#3 UVA (17-1-3) used goals from three different players to pick up the win on Saturday night, defeating Radford (16-6) by a score of 3-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Klöckner Stadium.

Virginia is a No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Sydney Zandi (West Chester, Pa.), Ashlynn Serepca (Cornelius, N.C.) and Alissa Gorzak (Naperville, Ill.) contributed the three goals to help the Cavaliers pick up the win. Zandi and Serepca each scored in the first half, while Gorzak’s second-half goal provided the final margin of victory.

Virginia tallied 34 shots on the night with 18 of them on frame. The Cavaliers limited Radford to five shots with three on goal, while keeper Michaela Moran (Greely, Colo.) posted three saves to pick up the win in her second start of the season. Radford’s goalkeepers combined for 14 saves on the night.

“Obviously we’re pleased with the result and the fact we are moving on,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “Congrats to Radford on a great season. I thought they worked extremely hard tonight and made it difficult for us to find space in the attacking end. While we did some good things to create our goals, we needed to be more consistent with our crosses, final passes and combination play. These are areas we will need to focus on this coming week.”

The Cavaliers got on the board in the 23rd minute when Zandi took a pass from Diana Ordonez (Prosper, Texas) at the top of the box and fired a shot to the right of the keeper. It was the fifth goal of the season for the midfielder who has tallied a goal or an assist in four of the last six matches for Virginia.

Serepca extended the lead to two goals with a strike in the 36th minute. Freshman Talia Staude (Atlanta, Ga.) played a ball ahead to the sophomore inside the six and she slipped it in past the left post for the 2-0 Virginia lead. It was Staude’s second assist of the season, while it was the seventh goal of the season for Serepca.

Gorzak’s goal in the 57th minute capped the scoring for the evening. Rebecca Jarrett (Washington Township, N.J.) played the ball down the right side of the field before cutting in toward the box. She skipped a ball back in front of the goal to Gorzak crashing in from the left side and the forward took sent the one-touch shot back in past the far post for the 3-0 lead. It was Jarrett’s seventh assist of the season, while the goal was the first for Gorzak.

The score held down the stretch as Moran made three saves, including turning away a one-on-one chance from Radford’s Nelia Perez in the 74th minute and also making the save on a shot inside the box from Lily McLane in the 76th minute.

Virginia will play at home again next weekend, hosting Washington State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at 7 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 22). The match with the Cougars will follow the first match of the day between West Virginia and Central Connecticut State, which will be played at 4 p.m.

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