Box Score Nov. 6, 2015
CARY, N.C. – Kristen McNabb (Montville, N.J.) scored two goals on the night and top-ranked Virginia (16-1-1) netted five goals in the second half on the way to a 5-0 victory over No. 6 Clemson (13-4-1) at the ACC Championships on Friday.
With the win, the Cavaliers advanced to the finals against the winner of Friday night’s match between North Carolina and Florida State. The match will be played at noon on Sunday and will be televised by ESPNU.
“We struggled a little in the first half to get any penetration,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. We didn’t do a good job of opening up their defending shape. We did a better job in the second half of moving the ball, making decisions and creating some space. We scored some nice goals.
“The two set-piece goals were important. Kristen (McNabb) makes some great runs and she’s a finisher. I don’t think she gets enough credit on this team. She’s as valuable as any player we have.”
In a defensive stalemate early, Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas) came up big for the Cavaliers in the 32nd minute, turning away a pair of dangerous shots in the box by Clemson to keep the score locked nil-nil.
Virginia got its best chance of the half in the 36th minute when Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) dribbled down the left side of the field and into the box. The Clemson keeper came out to challenge the midfielder as she dribbled into the center of the box, falling down as Shaffer made her move. Shaffer dribbled around her and fired the shot on goal, but a Tiger defender slipped in behind the keeper and blocked the shot.
Virginia held a 7-to-3 advantage in shots at the half and an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks as the offense for the Cavaliers kept pressure on the Tigers down the stretch.
The pressure paid off in the 53rd minute when Virginia got on the board. After Clemson turned away an attack, but failed to clear the ball defensively, Kaili Torres (Fleming Island, Fla.) dribbled into the box and sent a cross toward the goal. McNabb took the cross and put it in by the near post as the keeper was lost in the crowd in front of the box.
The Cavaliers took the lead out to 2-0 in the 58th minute when McNabb again found the net. Following a Tiger foul, Shaffer took a free kick from 25 yards out of the near corner of the box. She sent in the cross to the far post where McNabb bodied the ball into the net.
The third goal of the evening came in the 80th minute when Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) raced down field on a long ball played ahead by Torres. The ball bounced ahead of a Clemson defender as Latsko tracked it down and beat the keeper for an empty net goal and the 3-0 lead.
Virginia took a four-goal lead in the 83rd minute when Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.) dribbled in on the left side of the box and found Shaffer waiting in the middle. The junior midfielder took the pass and scored to give the Cavaliers the 4-0 advantage.
The scoring capped three minutes later when freshmen connected Annaugh Madsen (Fairfax, Va.) passed the ball to Brianna Westrup (Corona del Mar, Calif.) who found Christiana Sullivan (Houston, Texas) for the final 5-0 margin of victory.