Last week, April Heinrichs announced that her Virginia women's soccer team stood on the threshold of greatness. Since that proclamation, the Cavalier record is 2-0-0, but they're still waiting at the threshold, fumbling around for the key.
The No. 9 Cavs (11-4-0, 4-1-0 ACC) grabbed a pair of Klöckner Stadium victories over the weekend, beating Florida State, 1-0, and Oakland, 2-0. Yet Heinrichs was more interested in how her squad played than the mere fact that another two Ws were racked up in the Virginia ledger.
"I think we looked at Florida State and Oakland and saw an opportunity to relax," Heinrichs said. "We can't relax against anybody."
If there was any weekend to relax, however, this was it. The Seminoles (8-7-0, 0-4-0 ACC) sport a respectable record and a pair of four-game win streaks, but none of their victories have come against top-level opponents. Oakland (11-4-0) -- which surprised the Cavs by being located in Michigan instead of California -- has played an even more Betty Crocker schedule.
Virginia could have crushed both teams, but got by on talent alone. Heinrichs took little solace in the fact that the Cavs were able to win without their best effort.
"That's the sign of a good team," Heinrichs said. "A great team hammers Oakland, comes out with authority and shreds Oakland."
The Cavaliers engaged in no sort of hammering, shredding or other such carpentry in the first half Sunday. The Grizzlies got almost all the way to intermission without allowing a goal, until Virginia finally broke through with 18 seconds left in the first half.
Oakland senior Anna Muccino deflected Cav winger Tracey Lache's point blank shot, but the ball squirted across the box to second-year Darci Borski, who easily beat Grizzly keeper Holly Runstadler.
"We played casual in the first half," Heinrichs said. "We possessed the ball, but we possess the ball for a reason."
"We had opportunities, definitely, but we couldn't put them away," said fifth-year forward Jill Maxwell, who put home Virginia's second goal. "Then in the second half, we moved into a three-front and we dominated."
Maxwell, who set a career high in goals with her sixth last week against George Mason, extended that personal record 10 minutes into the second half. Center mid Katie Tracy corralled Laura Gaworecki's corner kick and launched a shot, which Maxwell toed past Runstadler into the back of the net.
"It was all Katie Tracy," Maxwell said. "I was just distracting the goalie."
Tracy created the game's only goal Friday against Florida State as well. The 'Noles kept the Cavs scoreless until the 81st minute, when fifth-year sweeper Carryn Weigand headed Tracy's blooper over the onrushing FSU keeper. Weigand, who until two months ago had not scored since 1995, now has three goals on the season, all game-winning headers.
The pollsters may have been as unimpressed with the wins as Heinrichs. Ninth-ranked Virginia dropped down a notch from last week, leapfrogged by No. 7 Southern Cal and No. 8 Connecticut.