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Aug. 21, 2015

No. 2 Virginia (0-0-0) vs. UNC-Wilmington (0-0-0)
Date & Time Aug. 23 • 2 p.m.
Location Charlottesville, Va. | Klockner Stadium
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The second-ranked Virginia women’s soccer program kicks off the 2015 season on Sunday, hosting the Seahawks of UNC-Wilmington at 2 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium.

The Cavaliers advanced to the finals of the College Cup a year ago and posted a 23-3-0 mark on the year, advancing to the College Cup for the second consecutive season. UNC-Wilmington enters the season after posting a 7-9-2 record last season and ending the season in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. UNC-Wilmington opens its season Friday night at Appalachian State.

The quest for a third straight appearance at the College Cup begins against the Seahawks this weekend and Virginia welcomes back plenty of firepower with nine starters and 15 letterwinners returning.

Senior Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.) paced the Atlantic Coast Conference in goals last season, scoring 20 goals for the Cavaliers and tallying 51 points. The 51 points is the most in a single season at Virginia, while the 20 goals tied the single-season mark. Doniak enters the 2015 season needing nine goals to tie the school record for career goals set by Angela Hucles in 1999. She also needs 13 points to tie the school record for career points.

Doniak, one of two Virginia players on the preseason watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, leads a group of returners who accounted for more than 75 percent of the goals scored in a 2014 campaign that saw the Cavaliers tally 88 goals. Senior Brittany Ratcliffe (Williamstown, N.J.) is the other returning player with double-digit goals scored last season after finding the net 10 times. In all, 12 returning players scored for the Cavaliers last season.

Anchoring the defense is a pair of stalwarts in senior Emily Sonnett (Marietta, Ga.) and junior Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas). Sonnett, also named to the MAC Hermann Trophy preseason watch list, helped limit opponents to only 16 goals on the season for a 0.62 goal-per-game average. Stearns locked things down in goal, posting six solo shutouts as the Cavaliers posted 12 clean sheets on the season. She also set the single-season mark for wins with 23 victories in goal.

Gates open one hour prior to kick and single-game tickets are $9 for reserved seats (if available), $7 for adults, and $5 for youth, seniors and faculty/staff in general admission areas. UVa students are admitted free.

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