Women’s soccer: No. 3 Virginia blanks No. 5 Clemson, 2-0

uva soccerAfter a first half dominated by defense, No. 3 Virginia (9-1-1, 3-1-0 ACC) broke through in the second half with a pair of goals to pick up a 2-0 win on the road at No. 5 Clemson (9-2-1, 3-2-0 ACC) on Thursday night.

Senior Brittany Ratcliffe (Williamstown, N.J.) scored the game-winner for the Cavaliers, hitting the first goal in the 48th minute of play to get Virginia on the board. Morgan Reuther (Chantilly, Va.) then hit the insurance goal in the 84th minute as the Cavaliers picked up the win.

“We’re very happy with the result because that was not an easy game for a number of reasons,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “To come down here, play a very good Clemson team and get the result with a clean sheet is a good thing. We had a lot of adversity to deal with throughout the game and our younger players handled themselves well.

“It was a good result for us away from home. Clemson is a good team and has a lot of ways they can score. They played a very hard match. They’re a quality team and deserve their ranking.”

The Cavaliers got a pair of early opportunities with Tina Iordanou (Upper Brookside, N.Y.) and Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) firing two shots within a minute of each other. Both shots hit off the posts with the first shot from Iordanou in the 12th minute caroming off the far post and the second from Shaffer a minute later bouncing off the near post.

The match was even through the first half with the teams matching each other in almost every category, though neither team could find the net to get on the scoreboard.

The Cavaliers wasted no time in getting on the board in the second half, scoring the first goal of the match in the 48th minute. Shaffer found Ratcliffe 10 yards outside the box. Ratcliffe rocketed the shot past the keeper to put Virginia up 1-0 on the Tigers.

The defense for both teams clamped down through the next 30 minutes of play, but Virginia came up with an insurance goal in the 84th minute.

After coming up with a stop on a Clemson corner kick, the Cavaliers turned to attack. Courtney Petersen (Canton, Mich.) took the ball at midfield and dribbled down the far sideline. She turned toward the box 30 yards out and served a ball up over the Clemson defense. Reuther slipped in behind the defenders and leaped into the air, heading the ball in from eight yards out to give the Cavaliers the 2-0 lead.

Virginia will continue to play on the road, heading to take on Wake Forest at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.


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