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RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia women’s soccer team began its spring season with a pair of games on March 20 at SportsBackers Park in Richmond, tying West Virginia 0-0 in the morning before falling 3-2 to the Washington Freedom in the evening.

Against a Freedom lineup that featured five players with World Cup experience, the Cavaliers fell behind 1-0 in the 11th minute on a goal by Jill Gilbeau, set up by French international Sonia Bompastor. The Cavaliers drew even in the 20th minute as Caroline Miller (Rockville, Md.) got in behind the Freedom defense and blasted a left-footed shot past a diving keeper off the breakaway to make the score 1-1. The Freedom answered a minute later as US star Abby Wambach scored off an assist from Japanese international Homare Sawa. Virginia drew even again in the 40th minute as Kate Norbo’s (Roanoke, Va.) cross from the right side was volleyed in by Meghan Lenczyk (McLean, Va.).

The teams remained tied at 2-2 at halftime, but the Freedom scored the only goal of the second half in the 56th minute, as Rebecca Moros scored off a Washington corner kick.

“Both these games were a great test for us as this point in the spring,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “There were some good things we can take away from these games and also some things we can learn from. Overall, it was a good way to open our spring season, against a quality West Virginia team and against a professional team like the Freedom.”

Earlier in the day, the Cavaliers opened their spring season with a scoreless draw with West Virginia in Richmond.

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