CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –The No. 4 Virginia women's soccer team (7-0-0) closed out a seven-match, season-opening homestand with a 8-1 victory over William & Mary (2-4-1) on Thursday night at Klöckner Stadium.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –The No. 4 Virginia women’s soccer team (7-0-0) closed out a seven-match, season-opening homestand with a 8-1 victory over William & Mary (2-4-1) on Thursday night at Klöckner Stadium.

The Cavaliers used a pair of goals from sophomores Rebecca Jarrett (Washington Township, N.J.) and Ashlynn Serepca (Cornelius, N.C.) along with goals from sophomore Claire Constant (Alexandria, Va.), senior Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.), and juniors Taryn Torres (Frisco, Texas) and Sydney Zandi (West Chester, Pa.) to pick up the victory. It was the first goal of the season for Zandi.

Sophomore goalkeeper Michaela Moran (Greeley, Colo.) picked up her first win of the season as she drew the start in goal.

Virginia will return to action on Sunday (Sept. 15), closing out the non-conference portion of the schedule with a 1 p.m. match at No. 8 Penn State (4-2-1). The match will be streamed online by BTNPlus. 

“It was good to see some of our younger players get some significant minutes tonight,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “I thought as a group they did some good things, especially on the attacking end. And Michaela (Moran), who has been training well for us, played well in goal tonight. There are still takeaways from this game and we will need to apply them with Penn State coming up on Sunday.”

Jarrett put Virginia on the board in the sixth minute with a goal from point-blank range as she took the one-touch shot off a pass through the box from Torres to give the Cavaliers the early lead. She followed it up a minute later with her second goal, taking the one-touch shot off a deflected ball by the Tribe keeper following a shot from Alexa Spaanstra (Brighton, Mich.) and burying it from two yards out. 

William & Mary answered moments later, striking in the ninth minute with a goal from Renee Kohler as the Tribe midfielder took the ball outside the left corner of the box, dribbled around two defenders and sent in her shot from range, slipping it past a diving Virginia keeper.

Virginia pushed the lead back out to two goals in the 17th minute thanks to a dynamic trailing run by Constant down the right side of the box. Spaanstra dribbled the ball down the left side of the box and cut in, skipping a cross low through traffic to Constant making her run. The sophomore one-touched the shot in as the keeper had cut over to defend against Spaanstra. Constant’s goal gave the Cavaliers the 3-1 lead.

McCool gave Virginia its fourth goal of the half in the 28th minute. Freshman Talia Staude (Atlanta, Ga.) received the service 15 yards out off a corner kick and headed it to McCool who was waiting with her back to the goal one-yard out. The senior knocked the header down, turned and put it in frame for the 4-1 lead that held at the break.

Virginia notched its fifth goal in the 56th minute when Torres converted a penalty kick following a foul from behind on McCool as she drove into the box.

Serepca added the sixth goal of the night when she dribbled down the left side of the box before cutting in, splitting a pair of defenders and sending her shot in across the face of the goal and past the far post for the 6-1 Cavalier lead.

Zandi continued the scoring with her goal in the 77th minute. After taking a pass from Zoe Morse (East Lansing, Mich.), the junior took a couple of dribbles looking to center at the top of the box before stopping and reversing direction to shake her defender. She stepped wide of a second defender and took her shot, converting for the 7-1 Virginia advantage.

Serepca added her second goal of the night to cap the scoring with a strike in the 87th minute, taking a pass from Lacey McCormack (Arlington, Va.) just outside the six and cut around a defender, sending her shot in over the keeper past the near post.