Aug. 25, 2016
CHARLOTTESILLE, Va. – The defense shined for No. 4 Virginia (3-0-0) on Thursday night as the Cavaliers held Michigan State (1-1-1) without a shot on the way to a 3-0 victory at KlÃƒÆ’Ã†’Â¶ckner Stadium.
Virginia out-shot the Spartans 25-to-0 on the night, while three different players scored on the way to the victory for the home team. Michigan State keeper Kaitlyn Collin posted seven saves on the night, six in the second half.
“In every game we’ve improved a little bit,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “We’ve gotten better moving the ball, even against an organized lower block like Michigan State or even George Mason played. We’ve been better at breaking them down. We have to do a better job in the attacking third of improving our tempo, finishing our chances and improving our overall quality in the attacking third. That’s one of the hardest things to do, even if you have a veteran team.”
Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) got things started for the Cavaliers on a night where defense dominated the greater portion of the first half before Virginia would crack the scoring column.
The Cavaliers scored in the 30th minute, breaking the stalemate. Virginia dribbled down the middle of the field before sending the ball out wide to Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) Latsko then sent the ball into Shaffer who side-stepped a defender at the top of the box and fired the ball in across the front of the keeper, sneaking it past the far post for the 1-0 lead.
Virginia added to the lead in the final minute of the half off a Montana Sutton (Bedminster, N.J.) goal. Ayan Adu (Ashburn, Va.) served a corner kick into the box where it was kicked forward by Olivia Hazelrigg (Rolling Hills, Calif.) to the feet of Sutton who put it in the net. It was Sutton’s first career goal.
The Cavaliers led 2-0 at the half and held a 11-to-0 edge in shots.
A quick goal opened the second half as Taylor Ziemer (Santa Rosa, Calif.) dribbled to the top of the box and fired a shot from distance. The shot clipped the crossbar and caromed into the goal for the 3-0 Virginia lead in the 49th minute.
The Cavaliers return to action on Sunday (Aug. 28), hosting Old Dominion at 2 p.m.