Women’s soccer: No. 6 UVA downs Liberty for sixth straight win
The Cavaliers got goals from Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.), Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.), Lizzy Sieracki (Acworth, Ga.) and Montana Sutton (Bedminster, N.J.) on the way to the victory, while sophomore goalkeeper Laurel Ivory (Surfside, Fla.) improved to 5-0-0 on the season.
Freshman goalkeeper Michaela Moran (Greeley, Colo.) also saw action for the Cavaliers, entering the game in the second half to close things out.
“It was good to see us come out and get a couple of goals early – that was a positive,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “I was pleased to see the effort and energy in the beginning of the second half. We get those two goals right away after challenging the team at halftime to do that and step up our energy on the defensive end. That came through and it was good to see.
“We’re in a good place heading into our game at Penn State. This will be a good test for us. It will be two very good teams and we’ve always had very good games and we expect the same thing on Sunday. We’re looking forward to the experience of going on the road and playing a top 10 team.”
Virginia wasted no time in getting on the board, scoring in the second minute of play when Courtney Petersen (Canton, Mich.) found Montana Sutton (Bedminster, N.J.) in the box for a header. After being turned away following a short corner, Petersen served the ball in 25 yards out along the near sideline. Sutton worked her way in behind the defense on her run, leaping for the uncontested header 10 yards out and struck true for the 1-0 lead.
The Cavaliers extended the lead in the 16th minute off an unassisted goal from Brandon. A service into the box caromed off two defenders before bouncing to the feet of Brandon. The senior midfielder collected it and fired from 12 yards out in the center of the box to give Virginia the 2-0 lead.
At the half, Virginia held the 2-0 lead with an 11-to-1 advantage in shots over the Flames.
Brandon struck for a second time in the 50th minute, taking the ball just outside the top of the box, dribbling in between two defenders. Her shot from just inside the box slipped in under the cross bar for the 3-0 lead.
The lead grew to 4-0 just three minutes later as Sieracki notched her first collegiate goal. Following a foul, Virginia reset with a free kick as Sutton played the ball ahead to Zoe Morse (East Lansing, Mich.) who took the one touch and chipped it over the defense to Sieracki by the right post for the goal.
The fifth goal of the night came in the 63rd minute off the chest of McCool. Taryn Torres (Frisco, Texas) took a pass from Sydney Zandi (West Chester, Pa.) and dribbled in before sending the ball toward the goal where McCool was making her run. McCool chested it in right at the goal line for the 5-0 Virginia lead.
An own goal by Liberty in the 86th minute gave the Cavaliers the 6-0 final margin of victory.
Virginia will return to action on Sunday (Sept. 9) when the Cavaliers travel to face No. 11 Penn State. Kick for the final non-conference matchup of the season is set for 1 p.m.