Virginia women’s soccer opened ACC play with two road matches against Duke and Clemson this weekend. After playing to a 1-1 draw in double overtime against the Blue Devils (1-0-1), the Cavaliers fell to the Tigers (3-0) in a 3-0 shutout Sunday afternoon. Freshman midfielder Lia Godfrey was the only Cavalier to score in the matchups, striking in the 53rd minute against Duke.
Game 1: Virginia 1, Duke 1
In Virginia’s second game of its 2020 campaign, the Cavaliers (1-1-1) traveled to Durham, N.C. for their ACC opener against Duke. Both the Blue Devils and Virginia came into the match with records of 1-0-0 and looked to open conference play with a victory.
Godfrey got back into the scoring column after a goal and an assist in the team’s season-opener against Virginia Tech. Godfrey, who leads the team in points, struck an impressive right-footed shot from 21 yards out to open the scoring in the 53rd minute. The lead didn’t last long, however, as Duke senior defender Caitlin Cosme scored an equalizer just 10 minutes later.
Virginia had two near goals, which would have made all the difference in the competitive matchup, but video replay confirmed that neither had crossed the line. The game remained scoreless for the remainder of the match and after two periods of overtime ended with a final score of 1-1.
“We had our foot on the gas in the second half and both overtimes, but just did not have enough quality in and around the goal to put our chances away,” Coach Steve Swanson said after the game.
Despite the fact that the Cavaliers led by a margin of 16-3 in shot attempts, the Blue Devils capitalized on their rare opportunities to take the game to a draw.
“We just need more games to learn and grow, and I am confident with the work ethic of this team we will do just that,” Swanson said.
Game 2: Virginia 0, Clemson 3
Next, the Cavaliers traveled to Clemson Sunday for a 3 p.m. match at Historic Riggs Field. After edging Virginia 1-0 in overtime in the teams’ last meeting in 2018, the Tigers once again came away with a 3-0 win to remain perfect on the season.
Although the teams remained tied 3-3 in shots for the first 45 minutes, Clemson secured an early lead as sophomore midfielder Caroline Conti found herself wide open in the box in the fourth minute. Sophomore forward Maliah Morris recorded the assist with a beautiful delivery to Conti, who headed the pass to the far post, out of senior goalkeeper Laurel Ivory’s reach.
The Tigers continued to set the pace and keep Virginia quiet, limiting the Cavaliers to the midfield as they struggled to find their rhythm. The teams traded possession, but Virginia found few opportunities as it couldn’t generate momentum in transition.
Sophomore forward Diana Ordoñez had two opportunities to score in the 23rd and 45th minutes — junior goalkeeper Hensley Hancuff, however, held her ground to deflect Ordoñez’s first attempt and Ordoñez’s ball drifted wide in her second shot. The Cavaliers pressed on and transitioned to a more aggressive attack in the second part of the half but again came up short in their efforts. Inexperience following the loss of defenders Phoebe McClernon and Zoe Morse last season showed as Clemson stole the ball away numerous times from the Virginia defense.
The Cavaliers’ best opportunity of the first half came in its final minute. Freshman defender Samar Guidry placed a perfect pass to junior forward Ashlynn Serepca as she charged into the box. Serepca one-touched a pass to Ordoñez, who slid in in an attempt to sweep the ball past Hancuff. A Clemson defender knocked the ball away, but the touch slid just inches past the left post to keep the Tigers out front.
In similar fashion, Clemson jumped onto the board early in the second half. In the 58th minute, junior forward Courtney Jones recorded the goal off an assist by sophomore midfielder Hal Hershfelt. Jones had a perfectly timed run, catching Ivory in no man’s land as she couldn’t anticipate Jones’ direction. The junior had a great finish as she sent a strike past Ivory to extend the lead to 2-0.
Virginia had another great look in the 67th minute — Ordoñez used her chest to knock down a long ball just outside the box. The sophomore offered a shot but missed just right of the post as the Cavalier offense missed their best opportunity of the match.
The Tigers found one more chance to add insurance in the 83rd minute after the ball glanced off the Guidry’s hand and afforded Clemson a penalty kick. Ivory guessed the wrong way as freshman midfielder Megan Bornkamp drove the ball low and to the left, finding the back of the net and extending the lead out of reach.
As Virginia came up empty-handed through the remainder of the match, Clemson secured the 3-0 shutout to maintain its perfect record.
The Cavaliers continue their road stretch at Virginia Tech Friday at 6 p.m. Virginia defeated the Hokies 3-1 in its season-opener at Klockner Stadium Sept. 12, but will travel to play at Thompson Field for the conference matchup.