Sunday’s women’s soccer showdown between No. 10 Virginia and No. 4 West Virginia led up to its expectations and was a nail-biting, back-and-forth match all the way up to the 86th minute. The game remained scoreless until junior midfielder Isabella Sibly of the Mountaineers (10-2-0, 7-2-0 Big 12) slid one past the Cavaliers (10-4-1, 5-2-1 ACC) senior goalkeeper Laurel Ivory with just a few minutes left in the match.
Virginia had a solid first half, edging out West Virginia with three shots to just a single shot by the Mountaineers. Just two minutes into the match, Virginia had a strong offensive opportunity. Junior forward Rebecca Jarrett laid the ball back to senior defender Lizzy Sieracki at about the halfline. Sierack then played a perfectly paced through ball into sophomore forward Diana Ordonez who drew a corner kick for the Cavaliers after a tackle in the penalty box. Freshman midfielder Lia Godfrey took the kick and found sophomore defender Talia Stuade who sent it over the crossbar.
Then, with just over 17 minutes left in the half, senior midfielder Taryn Torres drilled a loose ball at the top of the 18 just over the goal.
The Mountaineers had just one shot during the first half thanks to sophomore midfielder Aaliyah Scott — with about nine minutes remaining in the half — which Ivory dove for, but ultimately it ended up going just wide of the goal.
The second half fared much better for the Mountaineers as they tripled the Cavaliers in shots — having six shots on goal to Virginia’s two — and forced Ivory to come out with three saves.
Virginia had the opportunity for three corner kicks during the second half — four throughout the entire match — yet were unable to convert on any of them.
The second half was physical and the Cavaliers looked exhausted, likely because they had not played a match in nearly a month. Four of the six of the shots Virginia conceded came in the last 11 minutes of the game, and although Ivory came in clutch with several key saves late in the game, Sibly’s shot in the 86th minute found the back of the net.
“West Virginia was the better team today and they deserved the win,” Coach Steve Swanson said. “Full credit to their players and staff. They consistently imposed their style on us and we did not play with enough quality to get anything going on the attacking end, specifically. There is much we can learn from this game, though, and my hope is we can translate that to the pitch in time for another shot at them this coming week.”
Although the Mountaineers came out of Sunday’s match with the win, the Cavaliers still lead the all-time series between the squads with an 11-4-2 record. Furthermore, the teams meet again for a second weekend of top-10 soccer, and the Cavaliers hope to add another win to their standings.
No. 10 Virginia will face No. 4 West Virginia again in search of a win Saturday, April 10 at 3 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ACCNX, and 564 fans will be able to watch live in Charlottesville.