CARY, N.C. – A Lizzy Sieracki (Acworth, Ga.) header in the 60th minute proved to be all the Cavaliers needed on Sunday (May 9) as Virginia (14-4-2) advanced to the College Cup with a 1-0 victory over fourth-seeded TCU (12-2-2) at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
The Cavaliers, who are ranked No. 13 nationally, entered the day as the only unseeded team in the quarterfinals and knocked off the fourth-ranked Horned Frogs to advance to a semifinal match against top-seeded and top-ranked Florida State (13-0-1). That match will be on Thursday, May 13, in Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. Times have not been set for the semifinal matchups, though the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
The Cavaliers advanced to the semifinals three times prior to this season: 1991, 2013 and 2014.
Virginia and TCU played to a stalemate through the first half, though the Cavaliers had a 6-to-2 edge in shots at the break.
The Cavaliers got on the board with the Sieracki goal in the 60th minute. Lia Godfrey (Fleming Island, Fla.) served a perfect ball off into the box off a corner and Sieracki headed it in with authority past the near post for the 1-0 lead.
TCU nearly found an equalizing goal five minutes later when Yazmeen Ryan’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced in front of the goal before Laurel Ivory (Surfside, Fla.) would secure it to keep the Hoos in the lead. Virginia would control the bulk of the game down the stretch, though Ivory would be called upon to make a pair of key saves in the final 10 minutes of play to preserve the victory.
Virginia finished the game with an 11-to-5 advantage in shots and Ivory’s two saves matched the two saves by TCU keeper Emily Alvarado.
NOTES ON THE GAME
• The goal from Lizzy Siearcki was her first of the season to go along with four assists this year.
• Sieracki’s goal was the third of her career and the first since scoring against NC State (10/25/18) that season.
• The shutout victory was the third straight for UVA in the NCAA Tournament as the Cavaliers also shut out 12th-seeded BYU (2-0) and Rice (3-0).
• Virginia has scored nine unanswered goals since surrendering a score to SIUE in the opening round of play.
• The Cavaliers defeated three conference champions on the run to the College Cup in SIUE (OVC), Rice (C-USA) and TCU (Big 12).
• Virginia returns to the College Cup for the first time since the 2014 season when the Cavaliers faced Florida State in the NCAA final. It marked back-to-back berth in the College Cup as UVA also advanced to the semifinal in 2013.
FROM HEAD COACH STEVE SWANSON
“It was great to see Lizzy (Sieracki) score that one. It was a superb corner kick by Lia (Godfrey). We’ve been working on our set pieces and it’s moments like that that really make a difference. It was good to get the goal. We changed our formation a bit after that goal, so it couldn’t have come at a better time. We were bailing water a little bit there and lost the momentum we gained. The team did a great job of finishing out the game once we got the lead.”
On advancing to the College Cup for the first time since 2014
“With the tournament we have, even with just 48 teams, all the teams are good teams. There are no easy games. For us to get to where we’ve gotten is great. We’re proud of that, but we have a bigger goal. We’re trying to do something we haven’t done before and we’re very focused on that at this point in time.”
On facing Big 12 Champion TCU in the quarterfinal
“This was a really good TCU team that cause us problems. They are the real deal. They took away some of what we did and I give them a lot of credit. I give our players credit for seeing the game through and getting the victory.”