CARY, N.C. – The fall season came to an end for the ninth-ranked Virginia women’s soccer team (8-3-1) on Friday (Nov. 13) as the Cavaliers dropped a 2-0 decision to top-ranked North Carolina (11-0-0) in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament at WakeMed Soccer Park. Virginia was the three seed in the tournament, while North Carolina is the two seed.
The contest was a rematch of the 2019 ACC Tournament finals and marked the 22nd appearance in the semifinals of the annual event by Virginia. The Cavaliers have advanced to at least the semifinals in nine of the last 10 seasons.
North Carolina got a goal in each half, converting a penalty kick in the 40th minute before notching the second goal in the 79th minute. It is only the second time this season that the Cavaliers have been shut out.
“It was a game of ebb and flow between two good teams,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “At the beginning of the first half and second half, we struggled to get a little bit of the game. Once we got into the game, we did well. In the first half we played well. It was unfortunate to give up the penalty the way that all transpired, but I was pretty pleased with the first half. They came out hard in the second half and we were fortunate to not give up a goal in that first 10 or 15 minutes, but again we did some things. We just didn’t generate enough quality chances against them. They are physical and competitive and won a lot of first and second balls, which led to them getting penetration on us. Give them credit. They played well and finished the chances they got.”
Virginia got a pair of chances early when Lia Godfrey (Fleming Island, Fla.) took two shots from distance in the first nine minutes. Her first shot trickled high in the opening minute, while her shot in the ninth minute hit the woodwork and bounced back to the feet of sophomore Diana Ordoñez (Prosper, Texas). Ordoñez took the shot, but a Tar Heel player stepped in front of her and deflected it as it came off her foot. From there it was a back and forth battle before the Tar Heels broke the stalemate.
North Carolina struck first, converting a penalty kick in the 40th minute. A foul in the box on a challenge, the first foul of the half on the Cavaliers, set up the chance for the Tar Heels. North Carolina keeper Claudia Dickey stepped to the spot and converted the chance for the 1-0 lead.
The Tar Heels extended the lead in the 79th minute when Rachel Jones played a long ball ahead to Isabel Cox. Cox brought the ball down the left side of the field before cutting in toward the box. She worked her way around the Cavalier defender and took her shot into the upper corner by the back post for what would prove to be the final margin of victory.
Both teams finished the match with 11 shots with North Carolina putting seven shots on frame to four on frame for the Cavaliers. Virginia keeper Laurel Ivory (Surfside, Fla.) made five saves on the night.