Cavs advance to ACC semifinals
Goals from Menchel, Douglas power No. 5-ranked squad to 2-0 win against Terrapins, fifth-straight shutout
The No. 5 Virginia women's soccer team blanked No. 16 Maryland 2-0 Sunday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium in the ACC quarterfinals. The victory marked the Cavaliers' first win in an ACC tournament game since 2008 and was an echo of Virginia's dominating 4-1 victory against the Terrapins (10-5-4, 4-5-2 ACC) during its first ACC game this season.
The first goal for Virginia (14-3-2, 8-2-1 ACC) came from sophomore defender Molly Menchel, who shot a beautiful one timer into the upper-left corner of the net from the top of the box in the 29th minute. Senior defender Amanda Fancher provided the assist on the play, her fourth of the year.
"I'm pleased with the result," coach Steve Swanson said. "We did what we needed to do. We pressed the ball well. We took advantage of our depth a little bit. That first goal was really important for us. It gave us some confidence and allowed us to dictate the tempo of the game."
Sophomore forward Gloria Douglas scored the second and final goal of the contest during the dwindling minutes of the game. During the 83rd minute, junior forward Caroline Miller sent a looping pass from midfield toward Douglas. Douglas proceeded to juke around a Maryland defender before blasting the ball into the back of the net from 15 yards out.
"It was kind of an awkward run that just happened to work," Douglas said. "Caroline [Miller] passed it to me and it was a one-versus-one situation with the centerback. I cut it to my right and just placed it top shelf."
The game marks the fifth shutout in a row for senior goalkeeper Chantel Jones, who tied the NCAA career shutout record with her 44th. She is tied for third in the ACC with 11 shutouts on the season.
"It feels good," Jones said. "I don't really think about [the record], I just try to keep the ball out of the net so we can get a win. I can't do it without my defense. They played awesome today and without them, who knows how many goals I would have had scored on me."
The Cavaliers now face Florida State, a team which defeated North Carolina 1-0 in a double-overtime thriller Sunday afternoon. Virginia sneaked past the Seminoles 4-3 in overtime earlier this season behind two goals from Miller, the second of which came during the 93rd minute to win the game.
"It will be a challenge," Jones said. "Florida State is a really good team, but I think if we come out and play our game we'll do well, and hopefully we can put some goals in the net."
The Cavaliers enter the matchup on a six-game winning streak, one short of tying their longest streak of the season, which came in their first seven games. The six consecutive wins have Virginia feeling confident ahead of its rematch against the Seminoles.
"Some games we haven't showed up [in], but you just have to keep focusing on the next game and not look back," Douglas said. "Honestly, no matter who we play, I think we're going to be a big threat."
The ACC semifinal matchup with Florida State will take place Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Cary, N.C. and will be televised on ESPN3. With a win, the Cavaliers will play either Duke or Wake Forest at 1 p.m. Sunday in the conference championship game.