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No. 10 women’s soccer defeats George Mason 2-0 in the opening match of their spring season

After 75 scoreless minutes, the Cavaliers netted two goals to defeat the Patriots

<p>Although the scoresheet doesn’t necessarily prove it, the Cavaliers had a successful first showing — maintaining possession for 75 percent of the game and recording 18 shots, six of which were on the goal.</p>

Although the scoresheet doesn’t necessarily prove it, the Cavaliers had a successful first showing — maintaining possession for 75 percent of the game and recording 18 shots, six of which were on the goal.

No. 10 Virginia opened its spring season with a rainy Sunday afternoon matchup against George Mason at Klockner Stadium. The Cavaliers (9-3-1, 5-2-1 ACC) maintained possession for the majority of the game but struggled to find the back of the net. However, in the 76th minute, freshman forward Lia Godfrey scored off of a free kick and junior forward Rebecca Jarrett scored shortly after in the 81st minute to lead Virginia to a 2-0 victory over George Mason (0-2, 0-0 A-10).

The Cavaliers got off to a quick start, but overall, it was a slow first half. Virginia earned a corner kick in the seventh minute of the game that almost immediately resulted in a George Mason foul and a Virginia free kick just above the 18. Godfrey kicked the ball low and with pace, but it was just wide of the right side of the goal. After this opportunity, Virginia had eight more shots on the goal, and George Mason senior goalkeeper Louisa Moser came up with two critical saves.

In the second half, Virginia began to find more and more offensive chemistry and had better decision making in the final offensive third. Just nine minutes into the second half, sophomore defender Talia Staude launched a cannon of a shot that was saved by Moser. Then again, with just 20 minutes left in the game, Staude shot from a distance forcing Moser to make a diving save.

Finally, with just over 15 minutes left in the match, the Cavaliers broke through. Virginia was possessing inside the final offensive third, connecting tight passes — which led to a foul called on George Mason — when senior midfielder Taryn Torres was taken to the ground. This gave the Cavaliers a free kick just on the top of the 18-yard box.

Torres and Godfrey stood behind the ball, but ultimately Godfrey took the kick and perfectly netted a goal into the right netting putting Virginia ahead by one.

Then, with under 10 minutes left in the match, Jarrett got on the score sheet as well. After connecting with Staude on the left side of the field, Jarrett drove past her defender and cut inside before scoring in the far right post. This gave the Cavaliers the insurance goal they needed and finished the game 2-0.

“It is early,” Coach Steve Swanson said. “It almost felt like a year since we have been out here. It was a difficult challenge for us because they put a lot of numbers behind the ball. I would like to have seen us be sharper, better decisions and better execution.” 

The Virginia defense was not challenged much throughout the match — keeping George Mason to just one shot during the game. Furthermore, the Cavaliers maintained an impressive 75 percent of possession throughout the game.

“It was a good start,” Coach Steven Swanson said. “We got a good win so that was important, and we had a lot of players play some minutes today. We just have to keep progressing. We know where we are right now, what we need to do, what we need to work on, and I think training is going to be the most important thing for us moving forward.”

Virginia will return to action Saturday, March 6 at VCU with a 4 p.m. kickoff.

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