Virginia opened its season at Klockner Stadium Saturday night with a 3-1 victory against in-state rival Virginia Tech. Three Cavaliers jumped on the board — sophomore forward Diana Ordoñez, junior midfielder Alexa Spaanstra and freshman forward Lia Godfrey all scored during the match. Freshman defender Samar Guidry and Godfrey took the field for the first time Saturday as the Cavaliers (1-0, 1-0 ACC) improved to an all-time 21-4-1 record against the Hokies (0-1, 0-1 ACC).
“It’s always a physical battle with Virginia Tech and we expected the kind of game we got tonight,” Coach Steve Swanson said. “We had to be smart about the decisions we made moving the ball. I think both teams aren’t as fit as they would be at this time normally. We got some good performances and I think the two first years — Lia Godfrey and Samar Guidry — played well for their first game. But the best part is we played.”
In the ninth minute, Virginia struck first as Ordoñez — who co-led the team in goals last season with 15 — found the back of the net to give the Cavaliers an early advantage. Guidry led the drive, attempting a shot at the top of the box and collecting the rebound to keep the play going. The freshman played the ball ahead to a crashing Ordoñez, who sent the ball flying into the right corner to take the lead.
“We’re always a team that tries to get on the board early,” Ordoñez said. “Samar [Guidry] picking her head up and putting that ball right behind them … I just had to tuck it away [and] the keeper came out and left a nice little angle, so it was just a good buildup and good finish.”
Virginia dominated the rest of the first half, leading 10-1 in shots and 5-2 in corner kicks. Virginia Tech managed to fend off the Cavaliers’ attempts throughout the remainder of the half as Virginia posted four shots on goal against freshman goalkeeper Alia Skinner.
After the break, Spaanstra hit her first goal of the season in the 79th minute off a corner kick from Godfrey. The sophomore worked the near post and challenged Skinner as she received Godfrey’s ball and sent a header into the net to push the lead to 2-0.
The Cavaliers broke the lead open in the 83rd minute as Godfrey posted her first career goal. Junior forward Ashlynn Serepca launched the ball down the sideline, where sophomore forward Cam Lexow received the pass on a breakaway run toward the Virginia Tech goal. Godfrey quickly followed up to help Lexow, and she was unmarked as she received Lexow’s pass across the top of the box. The freshman sent it flying with one touch, sinking it into the net and pushing Virginia’s lead to 3-0 in the game’s final minutes.
Despite controlling the trajectory of the match, Virginia was unable to secure the shutout as Virginia Tech took advantage of a handball called against the Cavaliers in the box in the 85th minute. Junior midfielder Emily Gray took the penalty shot and sent the ball past senior goalkeeper Laurel Ivory to close the gap to 3-1 as the clock winded down.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been here playing, and I think both teams deserve a lot of credit for getting to this point,” Swanson said after the match. “I think there are a lot of people who didn’t think this would happen — even as late as a week or so ago. I think there is some satisfaction there.”
Virginia continues its season with two road matches next week as it faces Duke Thursday before meeting Clemson Sunday.