Women’s soccer: No. 1 Virginia tops No. 19 Duke, 1-0

uva soccerIt was a defensive battle on the pitch Sunday, but No. 1 Virginia (8-1-1, 2-1-0 ACC) broke through in the second half and continued the solid defensive play to pick up a 1-0 victory over No. 19 Duke (6-3-3, 0-1-2 ACC) at Klöckner Stadium.

Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) scored the game-winning goal for the Cavaliers, taking a pass in the middle of the box six-yards out and drilling it past the keeper to get Virginia on the board.

It would be the only goal needed on the afternoon in a defensive battle between the two nationally-ranked squads.

“It’s important to take the points you can at home, especially against good competition,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “I was pleased with the mentality and the way we responded after the disappointing result on Thursday.

“We moved the ball and did a better job of switching the point in the second half. That’s what led to the goal. Duke is a good defensive team and it was very similar to Notre Dame, but we made better decisions today. We were better defensively today as well and our defense deserves a lot of credit today. Morgan Stearns made a big save for us early in the first half on one of their only shots.”

The Cavaliers held an 8-to-2 lead in shots at the half, though neither team could find the net.

Virginia got on the board in the 56th minute when Shaffer took a pass from Tina Iordanou (Upper Brookville, N.Y.) and put it in from the top of the six-yard box. Morgan Reuther (Chantilly, Va.) chased down a cross that sailed over the box and tapped it off to Iordanou, who dribbled into the box on the end line and sent the ball in to Shaffer for the goal.

The Cavaliers got opportunities down the stretch to extend the lead, but each time the Blue Devil defense was able to turn away the attack to keep the score at 1-0. Virginia out-shot Duke 19-to-10 on the afternoon, but got the only goal of the day to pick up the win.

Virginia will now hit the road in ACC play for the next three weeks, kicking off the extended road trip at NC State on Friday at 7 p.m.

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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