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Women's soccer faces GMU, Gators this weekend

After playing five of its first seven games on the road, the Virginia women's soccer team will host the Coca-Cola Classic at home this weekend. The Cavs face George Mason tonight at 7:15, followed by Florida at 3:15 p.m. Sunday.

Last weekend, the No. 13 Cavs (4-3, 1-1 ACC) traveled all the way to California to play in the Stanford Nike Invitational. They lost to No. 4 Stanford that Friday, 3-1, but rebounded Sunday to beat then-No. 16 Santa Clara 1-0. All four of the Cavs' wins this season have been shutouts.

In his first year at the helm, Virginia coach Steve Swanson is pleased with his team's play so far and believes they will have more success once they improve on certain areas.

"We've had a difficult schedule," Swanson said. "Given a new coach and given that we've been on the road, we've progressed. We've traveled the last four weekends and that just takes its toll."

Related Links
  • Florida's Official Athletic Site
  • George Mason's Official Athletic Site
  • He said the Cavaliers need to improve on offense. In their three losses, the Cavs have scored a total of two goals.

    "We're trying to become a more consistent team," he added. "We need to extend our consistency over the full 90 minutes and play a full game together."

    The Cavaliers' first opponent, George Mason (5-3), has yet to pick up a road win this season. The Patriots are coming off a 3-0 win against Rutgers Wednesday and have recorded three consecutive shutouts, thanks to the stellar play of goalkeeper Sarah Coughlin.

    Florida has struggled this year after winning the national title in 1998. With a 2-0 loss to No. 18 Brigham Young, the Gators (3-5) now have recorded more losses than in any other season in program history.

    "It's definitely been a struggle so far," Florida coach Becky Burleigh said. "We've battled through some injuries and adversity. At one point, we were down five starters. Now we've only got two out, so I guess we're heading in the right direction."

    Two key starters recently came back from injury: junior forward Abby Wambach, a two-time All-American, and sophomore Danielle Murphy. All-American defender Keisha Bell and freshman Crystal Frimpong are still out with injuries.

    Virginia shocked then-No. 2 Florida last year at Kl


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