Aug. 28, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior forward Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) provided the offensive spark on Sunday (Aug. 28), recording her first career hat trick, as No. 4 Virginia (4-0-0) defeated Old Dominion (1-3-0) by a score of 4-0 at KlÃƒÆ’Ã†’Â¶ckner Stadium.
Latsko scored three first-half goals and assisted on the lone goal in the second half. It marked the second consecutive game for Virginia to hold an opponent without a shot as the Cavaliers out-shot the Monarchs 25-to-0.
Virginia has now posted a shutout in four straight matches to open the season and seven consecutive matches dating back to the 2015 season. The Cavaliers have played 692 minutes without allowing a goal through that span. It’s the second-longest span of shutout soccer in program history.
“Getting the two goals the way we did early was important for us,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “Sometimes in games like this, if you let a team stick around too long they get confidence. I was glad to see Veronica get (the hat trick). She’s a tremendous athlete and player, and she’s improved a lot in her first two seasons here. It was good to see her get some goals and hopefully she can continue with that heading into a different part of our schedule.
“We’ve worked hard on our organized attack and made strides there. That’s been good because we’ve played some teams that have sat back and been organized in their lower block,” Swanson said. “It hasn’t been wide open and we haven’t had to transition or get back in our organized defense much, so that’ something we have to work on for sure.”
The Cavaliers got on the board in the eighth minute when Latsko collected the ball as it was kicked around in the box and put it in the net from 15 yards out.
She followed it up in the 11th minute when Megan Reid (Orinda, Calif.) sent a long pass down the field for Latsko. The junior, who raced behind the defense, tapped it past the keeper who came off her line and drilled it into the open goal for the 2-0 lead.
Latsko made it a hat trick in the 21st minute when she took a pass from Alissa Gorzak (Naperville, Ill.) in the middle of the box and buried it in the net for the 3-0 Virginia lead.
Zoe Morse (East Lansing, Mich.) scored her first collegiate goal in the 61st minute. Latsko continued to be involved in the offense, finding Morse in the box on the far side of the field and tapped it to her. Morse centered the ball and sent it in past the keeper for the 4-0 lead. That would prove to be the final margin of victory for the Cavaliers.
Virginia returns to action next weekend, hosting Oklahoma at 5 p.m. Friday (Sept. 2) as part of doubleheader with the men’s team. The Cavaliers will then host Pepperdine at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 4) to close the weekend’s action.