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Women’s soccer: No. 11 UVA downs NC State

uva soccerUVA women’s soccer head coach Steve Swanson picked up his 400th career victory on Thursday night (Oct. 25) as No. 11 Virginia (14-3-0, 7-3-0 ACC) defeated NC State (10-6-3, 3-5-2 ACC) by a score of 2-1 at Klöckner Stadium.

Swanson is the 11th coach all-time at the NCAA Division 1 level to hit the 400-win mark and is one of only eight active coaches at the Division 1 level to have 400 career wins.

Second-half goals from Lizzy Sieracki (Acworth, Ga.) and Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.) lifted Virginia to the win after the match was scoreless at the half. It was the fourth game-winning goal of the season for McCool, who hit her team-leading seventh goal of the season. Sieracki’s goal was her second of the year.

Virginia will now host an ACC quarterfinal match on Sunday (Oct. 28) at 1 p.m., but waits to see who its opponent will be in that match.

“It was a hard-fought win,” Swanson said. “At times you felt like we had control, but give them credit because they got back into it and scored a nice goal. It was a whole different game there. We have to make some better decisions because we weren’t as consistent there. But, we knew what we had to do tonight and we got it done. That’s a tribute to these players.

“NC State is the kind of team who is never out of a game. They have good players up top that can cause problems. We knew that, but they still got a goal and made it a game there at the end.”

Despite being scoreless at half, the Cavaliers put together an aggressive offensive attack with an 11-to-1 advantage in shots.

Virginia struck in the opening moments of the second half when Sieracki struck true with a header off a corner kick from Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.). The goal in the 47th minute came as Brandon served the ball in from the left corner. Sieracki leaped for the header, slipping it in past the near post for the score.

The Cavaliers extended the lead in the 72nd minute when McCool scored her seventh goal of the season. Anna Sumpter (Charlottesville, Va.) took a shot that was blocked by an NC State player but uncontrolled by the Wolfpack. The carom came to the feet of McCool who took the strike for the 2-0 lead.

NC State got on the board in the 78th minute with a strike from eight yards out. King took the ball in the box as the Cavalier defense collapsed on her. The NC State midfielder turned and dribbled back in toward the box, around the defense and took the shot in past Ivory toward the near post.

The Cavaliers defense held strong down the stretch, holding the Wolfpack in check through the final 12 minutes of play to secure the victory.

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