CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia women’s soccer team returned home for the first time in three weeks and delivered a 1-0 upset of No. 4 Florida State Friday night at Klöckner Stadium. Sinead Farrelly’s (Havertown, Pa.) goal in the 44th minute was all the Cavaliers needed to post their first win over a top-five team since 2003.
“I am so proud of this team,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “We have won some big games in the past, but this result, between the quality of the opponent and the situation we are in, might make it our biggest win. We knew going into the game that we needed to win this game to improve our postseason situation. It was a real clutch performance by this team.”
After the Seminoles got several good looks at goal early in the first half, the Cavaliers began building momentum throughout the opening 45 minutes. That pressure paid off in the 44th minute. A Virginia corner kick was cleared by the Seminoles to the top of the 18, where Farrelly collected the ball and fired a shot just under the crossbar for her sixth goal of the season.
“That goal really gave us some momentum,” said Swanson. “We were getting a lot of corner kicks late in the half and it was great to convert off one of them. The ball came right out to Sinead and she just buried it. That was a great goal and one we really needed.”
Each team had several chances in the second half, but the goalkeepers prevented additional scoring. Florida State’s best chance came in the 77th minute when Chantel Jones (Midlothian, Va.) made a save on a Tiffany McCarty breakaway.
“Chantel only needed to make two saves, but that one was huge,” said Swanson. “She has been solid for us all year. Tonight we needed her to make that one big save and she came up huge. That was the difference in the game.”
Overall, Florida State had a 12-11 shot advantage, while Virginia had an 8-5 corner kick lead. Jones made two saves in net to record her third consecutive shutout and her seventh of the season. Erin McNulty made five saves for the Seminoles.
The win was Virginia’s first win over a top-five opponent in six years. The Cavaliers last downed a top-five opponent in September of 2003, a 4-1 victory over No. 3 Santa Clara at Klöckner Stadium. The victory also improved the Cavaliers’ all-time record against the Seminoles to 15-0-3 (7-0-1 in Charlottesville).
“We have to be careful now heading into Sunday,” said Swanson. “We haven’t won anything yet. We set ourselves up in a good position. But Miami is a good team and they are going to have a lot to play for, just like we do. We just need to rest, recover and get ready for Sunday because that is going to be another critical game.”
The Cavaliers conclude the regular season on Sunday when it hosts Miami in a critical ACC matchup. Virginia needs a win or a tie in the game to clinch a berth in next week’s ACC Tournament. Game time Sunday is 2 p.m. Prior to the game, the four members of Virginia’s senior class, Caitlin Miskel (Boca Raton, Fla.), Jess Rostedt (Kent, Ohio), Amanda Stewart (West Chester, Pa.) and Blair Weymouth (Holderness, N.H.) will be honored.
VIRGINIA 1, FLORIDA STATE 0
#4 Florida State (13-3-1, 6-2-1) 0 0 – 0
Virginia (8-5-4, 3-4-2) 1 0 – 1
UVa. Sinead Farrelly 6 (unassisted) 44’
Shots: UVa 11, FSU 12
Corners: UVa 8, FSU 5
Saves: UVa 2 (Jones 2), FSU 5 (McNulty 5)
Fouls: UVa 10, FSU 7
Weather: 58 degrees, overcast