Women’s soccer: No. 12 UVA tops Texas Tech in PKs

uva soccerThe No. 12 UVA women’s soccer team (16-4-1) advanced in NCAA Tournament play, claiming a 4-2 shootout over Texas Tech (14-5-3) after the teams played to a scoreless draw in the second-round matchup at Baylor.

Virginia, which is the No. 3 seed in the region, will face the winner of Friday night’s game between No. 2 seed Baylor and Vanderbilt in the Round of 16. That Round of 16 matchup will be played at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday night. It is the 14th consecutive season Virginia has advanced to the Round of 16.

Laurel Ivory (Surfside, Fla.) saved the first kick from Texas Tech in the shootout and the Red Raiders missed the second, setting up the chance for Virginia to secure the shootout on the fourth round. Junior defender Zoe Morse (East Lansing, Mich.) took the line and drilled the kick to advance the Cavaliers to the next round.

“It was a very hard-fought game and I’m impressed with Texas Tech,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “We knew it would be a game like this. We did well to create chances in the game and got a couple of really good looks, but unfortunately didn’t capitalize. We’re happy to be moving on, but it’s a tough spot for any team. We’ve been there before on their end.

“Our players really gutted it out well and we accounted for ourselves very well if you look at it from a statistical perspective. It wasn’t an unfair result in that sense. Texas Tech was very good and challenged us for sure.”

Virginia held a 16-to-10 edge in shots for the match and a 10-to-2 advantage in corner kicks as the Cavaliers created opportunities, but the Texas Tech keeper responded with seven saves for the afternoon. Seven of the Cavaliers’ shots were on goal, including 4-of-5 shots on goal in the first half.

Virginia got close to breaking into the scoring column in the 26th minute when Morse sent a ball in from the far left sideline. Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.) tapped it on toward the goal, but the ball hit the far post and bounced back into the field of play.

Texas Tech had a chance on the ensuing counter, racing down the field and playing the ball in behind the defense for a one-on-one opportunity. The Red Raider shot was blocked by Ivory who came off her line to challenge and knocked the ball safely aside.

The Cavaliers turned up the pressure in the early minutes of the second half, rattling off four shots and earning three corners in the first 15 minutes of the period, but couldn’t find the net to take the lead.

A strike from Courtney Petersen (Canton, Mich.) punched over the goal by the keeper in the 88th minute capped a flurry of offensive activity from Virginia. It was a second half that saw the Cavaliers with a 10-to-3 edge in shots and a 7-to-1 advantage in corners.

Neither team created many chances in the two overtime periods. Texas Tech notched two shots to only one for the Cavaliers, while Virginia earned the only corner in extra time.

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