No. 6 women’s soccer move into its last weekend at home

Virginia coming off of 4-0 shutout of Syracuse

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Junior forward Meghan McCool has six goals this season for Virginia.

Andrew Walsh | Cavalier Daily

The No. 6 Virginia women’s soccer team faces two very different opponents on their last weekend of regular season conference play. Facing the less distinguished of the two away teams, the Cavaliers marched all over Syracuse (3-13, 0-8 ACC) in a comfortable victory Thursday night. Game two is set to be much more of a contest, as the Cavaliers square off against No. 14 Florida State (11-3-2, 4-3-1 ACC) Sunday afternoon. 

The Cavaliers (13-2, 6-2 ACC) have dominated ACC play in the last four games, with three of the four resulting in shutouts. The most important victory on the four-game stretch came against an evenly matched Louisville Cardinals squad. However, the most impressive of the performances proved to be the 7-0 rout against Pittsburgh from about a week ago. 

Heading into the the Thursday night matchup against Syracuse, the Cavaliers have bested them everytime in the young four-game series. Syracuse entered the matchup with an overall record of 3-12 on the season, in addition to an 0-7 struggle in ACC play. The Orange were coming off a 5-1 loss against Notre Dame, whom the Cavaliers defeated 3-0. 

The Cavaliers did not disappoint Thursday night. They played poised and relaxed yet aggressive from start to finish. 

"It was a good result, but not an easy game," Virginia Coach Steve Swanson said. “Syracuse was organized defensively and made it difficult for us. We had to have a good combination of patience and urgency. They had a lot of players behind the ball and there was not a lot of space near the goal and in the box.”

Swanson mentioned getting ahead early as a major key towards solidifying the easy victory.

“It was good to get that first goal in the first half. We settled down and had a little more space in the second half. We wore them down a bit more and got a couple of good goals at the end. We have to get back and ready for another good test on Sunday (against Florida State).”

Virginia spread their goals from the 26th minute to the 85th and controlled the possession and pace of play the entire game. In order for the Cavaliers to continue their win streak and advance to five straight shutouts in ACC play, Virginia will have to play aggressively and capitalize on their opportunities at net versus the Seminoles. 

The 1 p.m. match will be broadcast on television by the ACC Regional Sports Network.

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