Women’s soccer downs Pepperdine, 3-0

sp-WSoccLatsko-CourtesyVirginiaAthletics

Veronica Latsko's effort helped  the Virginia women beat Pepperdine in the NCAA Tournament.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

No. 12 Virginia secured a spot in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the 13th year in a row after beating No.11 Pepperdine in Los Angeles, Calif. Friday night.

After beating Saint Francis 2-0 in the first round, three different goal scorers gave the Cavaliers (13-5-4) a 3-0 win against the Waves (15-3-3) in the second round. This was the second season in a row that Virginia beat Pepperdine.

Virginia got on the scoreboard early in the match when senior forward Veronica Latsko scored her eighth goal of the season. In the seventh minute of play, sophomore forward Taylor Ziemer delivered a corner kick into the box, which Latsko headed into the back of the net. The assist was the sixth of the season for Ziemer, and the most of any Cavalier on the team. Latsko, who was a first team All-ACC selection for 2017, leads the team in points with 20.

Although the Cavaliers had the 7-3 edge in shots in the first half, Pepperdine was able to keep the score 1-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Virginia continued to generate scoring opportunities and pressure Pepperdine’s backline. The Cavaliers’ offense broke through in the 66th minute, when junior midfielder Betsy Brandon picked up her third goal of the season. Brandon sent a shot from just outside the box into the upper left corner to make the score 2-0.

Later in the half, junior midfielder Ayan Adu scored for the first time this season to give Virginia its third and final goal of the night. Adu’s goal, which was the second of her career, came off of a pass from junior midfielder Hana Kerner, who earned her fourth assist of the season.

The Cavaliers outshot the Waves, 15-3, and kept Pepperdine from producing a single shot in the second half. The clean-sheet was the second in a row and tenth of the season for freshman goalkeeper Laurel Ivory.

Virginia’s three goals was the first time the Cavaliers scored more than two goals since Oct. 19, when they beat Syracuse, 3-1.

The second round win advances the Cavaliers to the Round of 16, which is the same round that ended the season for Virginia last year. The Cavaliers were eliminated in the third round last year after suffering a 2-0 loss to Georgetown.

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