Women’s soccer advances to second round of NCAA tournament with win over Monmouth

Virginia will face Texas Tech in second-round matchup

Freshman Alex Spaanstra has been a standout for the Virginia women's soccer team this season. Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The No. 3-seeded Cavalier women’s soccer team extended its season another game last Friday night with a win over No.14-seed Monmouth. 

After a disappointing finish in the ACC tournament, the Cavaliers  (16-4, 7-3 ACC)  entered Klöckner Stadium eager to prove themselves and regain their confidence. Early in the match, Virginia established its offensive presence through penetration and pressure applied on the Monmouth (16-4-1, 9-1 Big South) defensive unit. Their offensive force allowed numerous goal-scoring opportunities ultimately culminating in two goals by the Virginia All-ACC Freshman Alexa Spaanstra. Monmouth had no counter-response resulting in a shutout and 2-0 final for Virginia. 

"Both on video and in the game tonight I was really impressed with Monmouth," Coach Steve Swanson said. "They were well organized and extremely dangerous on the counter. I thought we did a good job of limiting their chances and Alexa scored a couple of very nice goals. Once again, our depth proved to be a difference and we had a number of strong contributions off the bench. We are very excited about moving on in the tournament and look forward to another week of preparations before our next game."

The Cavaliers got on the board in the 27th minute when a deflected ball by Junior Meghan Mccool made its way through the Monmouth penalty area for Spaanstra, who pounced on the opportunity at the edge of the six yard box with a right-footed finish. Spaanstra doubled the lead in the 51st minute with an unassisted goal to complete the scoring. These pair of goals earned Spaanstra the title of top goal scorer, with nine goals for the year. 

The Cavaliers attack was even more impressive statistically. They finished the match with a 23-1 advantage in shots, holding the Hawks without a shot until the eighty-seventh minute. It's the fifth time this season that Virginia has held an opponent to one shot or fewer for a match. 

Of note, freshman goalkeeper Michaela Moran started in her second game of the season and posted her first solo shutout. 

Virginia will now face Texas Tech (14-5-2, 5-3-1 Big 12) in the second-round on Friday. The location of the game is to be determined.

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