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No. 2 women’s soccer shuts out High Point 6-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament

To say that the Cavaliers dominated throughout the matchup would be a grave understatement

<p>This win was a true team effort, as six different Cavaliers scored goals during the match.</p>

This win was a true team effort, as six different Cavaliers scored goals during the match.

On a chilling night at Klöckner Stadium, No. 1-seeded and No. 2-ranked Virginia took on High Point in the NCAA Tournament — marking only the second time in program history that these teams faced each other. Last time the Cavaliers (17-2-2, 8-0-2 ACC) met the Panthers (10-8-2, 8-2-0 Big South), they shut out them out 8-0. This time was not much different, as Virginia defeated High Point 6-0.

Virginia’s offense was hot from the beginning. During the first 10 minutes, the Cavaliers took three shots, but all were saved by High Point junior goalkeeper Morgan Hairston. However, Hairston wasn’t able to stop Virginia’s next attempt, as the team scored on its own goal — going up 1-0 against the Panthers after only 11 minutes.

The Cavaliers didn’t take long to score again. Fifth year midfielder Sydney Zandi came in with an unassisted goal after senior forward Alexa Spaanstra got the ball to her using some tricky footwork — though Spaanstra didn’t directly assist Zandi in the goal.

Then, just a few minutes later, sophomore midfielder Alexis Theoret netted the ball with an assist by sophomore defender Laney Rouse to bring Virginia up 3-0. This game marked Theoret’s first start and this goal was just her second of the season.

“I have been waiting to finally get a chance to just connect with [Rouse] and it was so nice,” Theoret said. “She put it on a platter for me … and it was awesome.”

21 minutes elapsed before the Cavaliers scored their next goal. During those 21 minutes, Virginia had four shots and was awarded three corner kicks. High Point did not record a single shot.

The fourth goal for the Cavaliers came from sophomore forward/middle Sarah Brunner, the first goal of her career, with an assist from sophomore forward Brianna Jablonowski. It went into the top center of the goal and brought Virginia up 4-0 — the score that remained for the rest of the half.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Brunner said. “I’m just glad I could celebrate with everyone because without them, it wouldn’t have been possible.”

After halftime, the Cavaliers came out swinging once again. Just 10 seconds in, junior forward Diana Ordoñez — recently acclaimed ACC Offensive Player of the Year — took a shot on goal that was saved by the Panthers’ goalkeeper.

Virginia’s fifth year goalkeeper Laurel Ivory was pulled at 52:58 and replaced by junior goalkeeper Cayla White, who remained in for the rest of the game. Minutes later at 59:07, Ordoñez scored another goal for the Cavaliers with the help of fifth year forward/middle Haley Hopkins. This was her 16th of the season.

One more goal was added to Virginia’s tally before the clock hit zero, this time coming from junior defender Kira Maguire who was assisted by junior midfielder Emma Dawson. Virginia finished up by six and will officially advance to the next round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I thought we had a good performance,” Coach Steve Swanson said. “I thought we did what we wanted to do from the start.”

A total of 1,201 fans were in attendance at Klöckner Stadium — producing an intoxicating feeling in the air that undoubtedly shook up the opponent.

“I think we all missed [the fans],” Swanson said. “There’s some places we go where we have to generate our own atmosphere … but I think here at Klockner it’s a special atmosphere … and it makes a big difference for us.”

The Cavaliers will hold onto this home-field advantage during the second round of the tournament, which will be played against Milwaukee. The time is still to be determined, but they will take the pitch on Nov. 18.

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