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Box Score Oct. 22, 2015

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. РFreshman Brianna Westrup (Corona del Mar, Calif.) scored the first goal of her collegiate career on Thursday afternoon, lifting No. 2 Virginia (12-1-1, 6-1-0 ACC) to a 1-0 victory over Louisville (7-7-2, 3-4-1 ACC) at Kl̦ckner Stadium.

In the 73rd minute of play, Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C) took a corner for the Cavaliers from the near side, sending the service to Westrup who headed the ball in by the keeper in the upper corner past the far post. It was the first start of Westrup’s career as the freshman filled in for senior Emily Sonnett (Marietta, Ga.) who is traveling with the US Women’s National team this week.

The shutout was the ninth of the season for Virginia and fifth in ACC play.

“It was a tough game after being on the road for a while with some competitive games,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “It was also tough because Louisville is an organized defensive team and was coming in with as much confidence as they’ve had all year considering the results they’ve gotten lately. We gutted it out and we did enough to win the game.

“There were some good performances from some young players tonight, so that was nice to see. Brianna (Westrup) played very well in the absence of Emily (Sonnett).”

Virginia got its first opportunity of the afternoon in the sixth minute with Tina Iordanou (Upper Brookville, N.Y.) sent the ball in and it was tapped back by Doniak to Brittany Ratcliffe (Williamstown, N.J.) who fired a rocket on frame, but high.

The Cardinals fired off a shot from distance a minute later, but the return shot was also high. It was the first of three solid chances for Louisville early as a pair of free kicks following fouls set up dangerous shots. The first free kick at the 11th minute was high, while the second at the 19th minute was saved by Virginia’s keeper, Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas).

Virginia recovered from the Louisville counters and applied pressure again down the stretch, rattling off six corner kicks over a 13-minute span. The Cavaliers couldn’t convert the opportunities as the game went into the half with no score despite a 9-to-3 advantage in shots for the home team.

The Cavaliers continued to get opportunities through the early stages of the second half while the defense again survived a dangerous free kick from the Cardinals. Virginia finally broke through in the 73rd minute when Westrup delivered her goal to put the home team up 1-0.

The defense for Virginia continued to find ways to thwart Louisville’s attempts at a rally down the stretch as the Cavaliers held on to pick up the victory and post the clean sheet.

Virginia will return to action on Sunday, hosting No. 1 Florida State in a rematch of last season’s national championship game. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium and will feature senior day festivities as the program honors six senior members of the squad. The game will be broadcast by ESPNU.

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