Women’s soccer: Shaffer PK lifts No. 2 Virginia past No. 1 Florida State

uva-fsu blogSenior Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) converted her second penalty kick of the season on Sunday to lift No. 2 Virginia (13-1-1, 7-1-0 ACC) to a 1-0 victory over No. 1 Florida State (13-2-2, 6-1-2 ACC).

The penalty kick in the 30th minute of play came on a handball called in the box off a Cavalier shot that was on target, but deflected by the Seminole defender. It was the only goal of the match for a Virginia offense that took 19 shots to Florida State’s five.

“I think we were clearly the better team, obviously, at the start.,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “The turning point, obviously, was the red card. We would have liked to have seen a couple more go in, but it certainly wasn’t because we weren’t trying. We had opportunities. You have to give their goalie credit. We just didn’t finish enough of our chances to make it a case where it was a definitive win. But having said that, I think we had a lot of players step up today in the absence of some players.”

Virginia got its first chance in the third minute when the Cavaliers got loose on a breakaway. Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.) received the ball and tapped it forward between two defenders to Ratcliffe who got loose on a run behind the line. The junior midfielder dribbled into the box and fired the shot, but it was wide past the far post.

Both teams got the ball into dangerous spaces, but each time the defenses responded to turn away the attack without a shot.

The 30th minute saw the Cavaliers get the best opportunity of the day with a pair of shots in succession. Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) fired the first shot that clipped off the near post and to the feet of Doniak. Doniak then fired a second shot at goal that was blocked by FSU’s Kristen Crowley. A handball was called on the play and a red card awarded to Crowley, setting up a penalty kick for the Cavaliers. Shaffer drilled the kick to put Virginia on the board with the 1-0 lead on the Seminoles.

The Cavaliers came out firing in the second half, creating opportunities against a Florida State defense playing a man down. Courtney Peterson (Canton, Mich.) got in behind the defense in the 77th minute for a pass from Doniak and took the shot that was stopped by the Seminole keeper.

A second chance came in the 80th minute when Shaffer sent in a service that was headed at the goal by Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.), but again the Florida State keeper was up to the challenge and made the stop.

The Cavaliers got loose against the Florida State back line with Veronica Latsko and Doniak in the box in the 83rd minute. Latsko took the ball and rattled off two shots in six seconds, but the Seminole keeper stopped both shots to keep the score at 1-0 in favor of Virginia.

The defense for Virginia kept things in check down the stretch despite a couple of dangerous runs and shots by the Seminoles and the Cavaliers picked up the 1-0 victory.

Virginia will return to action on Wednesday night, traveling to face NC State at 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon before closing out regular-season play on the road at Pittsburgh on Saturday at 7 p.m.


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