CLEMSON, S.C. – The Virginia women’s soccer team (1-1-1, 0-1-1 ACC) dropped its first ACC contest of the season in a 3-0 loss at Clemson (3-0-0, 2-0-0 ACC) on Sunday afternoon at Historic Riggs Field.
It was the first loss in a regular-season ACC match for the Cavaliers since a 2-0 loss to No. 14 Florida State on October 21 of the 2018 season.
Virginia managed 10 shots to only seven for the Tigers, but played from behind as Clemson scored in the first five minutes of the match. Five of the Cavaliers’ 10 shots were on frame, while six of the seven shots taken by the Tigers were on goal.
“It was a disappointing result and performance for us today, but I thought Clemson was the better team,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “They competed harder than us and they finished their chances, which was the difference in the game. Hopefully we can learn from this game and put those lessons to good use the rest of the season.”
Clemson first struck in the fourth minute when the Tigers took advantage of an unmarked player in the box for the score. After Virginia turned away the initial attack, Clemson regained the ball out wide along the touch line and Maliah Morris played it back in with a service over the top. An unmarked Caroline Conti took the header at the opposite side of the six-yard box and sent it in past the far post for the score.
Virginia got a pair of chances at close range from sophomore Diana Ordoñez (Prosper, Texas) with one saved by the Clemson keeper and one just wide of the net. Those were combined with a third shot from freshman Lia Godfrey (Fleming Island, Fla.) that also slipped just wide of the mark.
Limited opportunities presented themselves for both teams in the first period with each team getting only three shots. The Tigers maintained the 1-0 lead at the half.
The Cavaliers opened the second half with a chance in the 54th minute with redshirt senior Alissa Gorzak (Naperville, Ill.) finding Ordoñez in the box for a header, but again the Clemson keeper was up to the task with a diving save.
Clemson extended the lead in the 58th minute with a long ball played over the top and in behind the defense by Hal Hershfelt. The Tigers’ Courtney Jones won the footrace for the ball and got the better of the opportunity as she got the ball in the net for the 2-0 lead.
The third goal came in the 83rd minute when a handball set up a penalty kick opportunity for the Tigers and Morgan Bornkamp converted successfully to give the Tigers the 3-0 lead.
Virginia returns to action on Friday, Sept. 25, in a non-conference match at Virginia Tech. That 6 p.m. contest is set to stream on ACC Network Extra.