CHARLOTTESVILLE – The No. 18 Virginia women’s soccer team’s second half comeback fell short, falling to Virginia Tech 2-1 Wednesday night at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers fall to 6-3-2 overall and 1-2-0 in the ACC with the loss, while the Hokies improve to 9-2-0 overall and 3-0-0 in the ACC.
“I am disappointed with the result and feel for our team,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “I thought we played very well tonight, especially with our ball movement. We had the better of the chances all night, but could only take advantage of one of them. They only had a few in each half, but got two goals.”
Virginia had a golden chance to take the lead in the 13th minute when a foul was called on the Hokies in the box. However Tech goalkeeper Kristin Carden saved Lauren Alwine’s (Elizabethtown, Pa.) penalty kick to keep the game scoreless. The Cavaliers continued to pressure but couldn’t find the first goal of the match. Late in the first half, the Hokies took advantage of one of their few chances as Robin Chidester made a 40-yard run to the top of the box and cut a shot back just inside the far post in the 39th minute. Virginia Tech took that 1-0 lead to the half despite being out shot 8-2.
Virginia continued the pressure early in the second half, keeping the ball in Tech’s half a majority of the time. But several key Carden saves, a hit post, and several near misses kept the game at 1-0. The Hokies doubled their lead in the 76th minute with another goal against the run of play. A clearance over the top by Julia Goldsworthy found Julian Johnson, who chipped a ball from 15 yards out just under the crossbar to make the score 2-0. The last 15 minutes were played exclusively in the Hokie third of the field and the Cavaliers got one goal back in the 84th minute when numerous headers in the box sent the ball to the feet of Alwine at the edge of the 6-yard box, who blasted in her fifth goal of the season. In the 89th minute, the Cavaliers nearly equalized after a passing sequence set up Alwine from the top of the box missed just high.
Virginia outshot Virginia Tech 21-8 and had a 4-1 corner kick advantage. Chantel Jones and Carden each made five saves in their respective goals.
“We are a lot better now that we were a few weeks ago and especially since the start of the season,” said Swanson. “Unfortunately, the results aren’t showing that. But that is soccer. Tonight may have been our most consistent game of the year in terms of our ball movement and play. We just got to keep fighting and do better with the chances we are creating. I am proud of how we played when we got down 2-0, how we got it to 2-1 and nearly got the equalizer. We just need to have confidence in our play with what we are doing on the field and not get discouraged by the results. If we do that, continue to improve, the results will come.”
The Cavaliers have eight days off before returning to action on October 8 when they host No. 22 Maryland. Game time at Klöckner Stadium is slated for 7 p.m.
VIRGINIA TECH 2, VIRGINIA 1
Virginia Tech (9-2-0, 3-0-0) 1 1 2
#18 Virginia (6-3-2, 1-2-0) 0 1 1
VT. Robin Chidester 1 (unassisted) 39’
VT. Julian Johnson 3 (Julia Goldsworthy 2) 76’
UVa. Lauren Alwine 5 (Meghan Lenczyk 3, Sinead Farrelly 5) 84’
Shots: UVa 21, VT 8
Corners: UVa 4, VT 1
Saves: UVa 5 (Jones 5), VT 5 (Carden 5)
Fouls: UVa 11, VT 13
Weather: 60 degrees, partly cloudy