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No. 4 women’s soccer shuts out No. 12 West Virginia 1-0

The Cavaliers avenged their spring loss to the Mountaineers on the shoulders of a strong defensive effort

<p>A strong header from junior attacker Diana Ordoñez was the deciding factor in Sunday's bout.&nbsp;</p>

A strong header from junior attacker Diana Ordoñez was the deciding factor in Sunday's bout. 

No. 4 Virginia women’s soccer delivered in a tough non-conference battle against No. 12 West Virginia Sunday in Morgantown, W.Va. The Cavaliers (2-0-0, 0-0-0 ACC) downed the Mountaineers (1-1-0, 0-0-0 Big 12) 1-0 thanks to a goal from junior attacker Diana Ordoñez in the seventh minute. 

Ordoñez’s goal was off of a play many Cavalier fans have grown accustomed to throughout the Prosper, Texas native’s career at Virginia. Sophomore Samar Guidry, a fellow Texan, sprinted down the left wing, used smooth footwork to escape Mountaineer junior defender Gabrielle Robinson and then sent a picture-perfect cross into the box, which Ordoñez masterfully placed beyond the outstretched arms of West Virginia junior goalkeeper Kayza Massey. 

After the goal, the Cavalier midfielders looked to suffocate a lethal Mountaineer offense, clogging up the midfield and limiting West Virginia’s ability to possess the ball in the middle third of the field. Throughout the first half, the Mountaineers were only able to muster up one shot, while Virginia was in no hurry to go for goal, trusting a strong backline to hold the lead. 

In the second half, however, the Mountaineer offense seemed energized by a halftime pep talk from Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. Nonetheless, graduate student goalie Laurel Ivory and the Cavaliers were unfazed by the energy, as Ivory saved shots from Robinson and junior forward Julianne Vallerand to keep West Virginia at bay. 

In the final 10 minutes of the match, as the Mountaineers pressed to find the game-tying goal, the Cavaliers were able to put together strong counter-attacks, with sophomore forward Lia Godfrey putting two sure-footed shots on goal that were saved by Massey. Nonetheless, neither team would end up finding the net in the second half, solidifying a 1-0 victory for the Cavaliers. 

“I think playing this game this early was a really good test for both teams,” Virginia Coach Steve Swanson said. “It was a hard-fought game, which we expected. West Virginia is an excellent team. Through the first half we played extremely well, but [in] the second half we were a little more inconsistent. I’m proud of the team, though, and the way they approached this game.”

Notably, the Cavaliers’ stellar defensive play against the Mountaineers extended their shutout streak to 639:35 minutes, which dates back to their NCAA first-round bout with SIU-Edwardsville. This streak is the fifth longest in program history and is good news for a Virginia team that looks to get over the hump and win its first national championship. 

Up next for Virginia is an in-state showdown against George Mason in Fairfax, Va. Kick-off against the Patriots is set for 7 p.m.