CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –Playing at home for the first time in 24 days, the No. 6 Virginia women's soccer team (9-2-0, 2-2-0 ACC) got back into the win column, posting a 5-1 victory over Wake Forest (6-4-1, 2-2-0 ACC) on Sunday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –Playing at home for the first time in 24 days, the No. 6 Virginia women’s soccer team (9-2-0, 2-2-0 ACC) got back into the win column, posting a 5-1 victory over Wake Forest (6-4-1, 2-2-0 ACC) on Sunday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium.
Goals from Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.), Rebecca Jarrett (Washington Township, N.J.), Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.), Alexa Spaanstra (Brighton, Mich.) helped lift the Cavaliers to the win. McCool scored two goals on the afternoon, including what proved to be the game-winning goal as Wake Forest would score a late goal in the match.
Sophomore Laurel Ivory (Surfside, Fla.) improved to 8-2-0 on the year.
“It was a tremendous atmosphere today and it was good to be home – it’s been a long stretch for us,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “The last few games have been really tight and teams have sat back a little more against us. There was a little more space in there today and we scored some good goals to get off to a good start.
“Our players responded well today, but we have to keep working on things. We’re capable of scoring goals, I’m confident of that. It’s about what happens when teams play us a little tighter and teams play us a little differently. We have to adjust, be a little sharper on chances and better about playing balls on frame and with our runs.”
Virginia struck in the 18th minute when Spaanstra delivered her first goal of the season, a header in past the far right post from six yards out. After the Cavaliers were turned away on two straight entry attempts down the left side of the box, Sydney Zandi (West Chester, Pa.) tapped the ball back out to Courtney Petersen (Canton, Mich.) and the junior midfielder sent the ball in to Spaanstra at the back post.
The lead grew to 2-0 in favor of the home team when McCool scored from four yards out in the 22nd minute. The Cavaliers brought the ball down the right side of the field where Taryn Torres (Frisco, Texas) sent a cross over the defense along the end line to Zandi on the near side of the box. Zandi zipped the ball in through the defense to the center of the box where McCool scored from near point-blank range.
The third goal of the half came in the 43rd minute when Ayan Adu (Ashburn, Va.) connected with Brandon at the top of the box. Virginia served a ball over the top of the defense to Adu down the right side of the field. She dribbled down in past a defender and sent the ball back out to Brandon just outside the top of the box for the strike.
Virginia led 3-0 at the half, despite Wake Forest having a 6-to-5 edge in shots.
The Cavaliers came out attacking in the second half and McCool notched her second goal of the game in the 57th minute when Spaanstra chipped a ball over the defense to McCool on the run. The junior took the ball of the bounce and chipped it up over the Wake Forest keeper who had come off her line to challenge the attack, where it bounced in for the 4-0 lead.
Jarrett added the team’s fifth goal in the 72nd minute when she struck from seven yards out. Alissa Gorzak (Naperville, Ill.) received a long outlet pass down the far left side of the field and dribbled down the sideline before cutting in past a defender and sending the ball into the box to Jarrett. The freshman forward struck true with her team-leading fifth goal of the season.
Wake Forest got on the board with a goal in the 82nd minute, converting a header from Hulda Arnarsdottir off the corner from the far side of the field by Oliwia Wos. The goal cut the lead to 5-1 in favor of the Cavaliers.
Virginia will now return to the road for two more ACC matches, playing at Louisville on Thursday (Oct. 4) before playing at Notre Dame on Sunday (Oct. 7).