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Cavs blank Sun Devils, Dragons

Squad equals best start in program history after weekend victories stretch winning streak to six games

The No. 4 Virginia women's soccer team stretched its winning streak to six games with weekend shutout victories against Arizona State and Drexel. The streak is the best start for the Cavaliers (6-0-0) since 2004, the same year that they won their last ACC Championship.

Friday night, Virginia bested the Sun Devils (2-1-0) 3-0 behind three assists by senior forward Lauren Alwine, who now ranks first in program history with 37 career assists.

Junior midfielder Julia Roberts also had a big night by scoring two goals, the first of which ricocheted off an Arizona State defender and into the Sun Devils goal in the fourth minute. Her second goal of the night followed nine minutes later as she hammered home a cross by Alwine from close range.

"The ball came out wide and we were able to get a cross in," Roberts said. "[Lauren] Alwine fought the goalkeeper hard and shielded her away. [The ball] just bounced to me."

Arizona State's best attack of the game came in the 37th minute when a breakaway left senior goalkeeper Chantel Jones one-on-one with a Sun Devil forward. After a block by Jones, senior defender Amanda Fancher made a diving block to save an easy Arizona State rebound and preserve Jones' shutout.

The successful night soured in the 52nd minute when junior midfielder Kate Norbo was injured in a tussle for the ball. Although the final verdict on her injury has not been released, it does not look good for the Cavaliers as Norbo missed her first start of the season Sunday afternoon against Drexel.

"We're going to assess [the injury]," coach Steve Swanson said. "It was a pretty bad hit. We're not sure how serious it is, but the fact that she came out of the game [means] we're going to have to see. It's pretty swollen right now, pretty tender. It's going to take us a day or two to figure out what it is."

Junior forward Caroline Miller capped the goal scoring in the 61st minute after she completed a perfectly timed run and connected with Alwine's cross in front of the Arizona State goalkeeper.

"[Arizona State] definitely was our best competition since West Virginia," Roberts said. "We had to pick up our speed of play and it was a good test to see if we were going to battle physically. It really prepares us for the games ahead."

Virginia certainly was well prepared for Sunday's game as it downed Drexel (2-2-1) 4-0. The first-ever meeting between the two squads did not go as planned for the Dragons as the Cavaliers scored early and often.

During her first career start, sophomore midfielder Shasta Fisher scored with a nicely placed header off a Roberts free kick in the ninth minute.

"It was a great ball in," Fisher said. "Great ball by Julia [Roberts]. Barely glided over the [Drexel] player's head. I just slipped it into the front post. It was a good feeling."

Two more goals followed in short procession in the 18th and 22nd minutes from Alwine and Miller, respectively. Alwine scored off a corner kick, which she curled over the Drexel goalkeeper's head.

Freshman midfielder Danielle Colaprico finished the scoring for Virginia in the 47th minute with a beautiful volley in the box. Sophomore forward Gloria Douglas provided the assist, tallying a team-leading five assists this season.

"Gloria [Douglas] got the ball on the side," Colaprico said. "She looked up and saw me. She got a beautiful cross off. It was a great look. I just picked out my corner and placed it."

The Cavaliers coasted for the rest of the game as some substitutes earned valuable playing time, all playing for at least 45 minutes.

Virginia plays again this weekend in the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic. It has won the past four editions of the tournament and this year face a field that includes Washington State, Penn State and Central Florida.


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