On a hot and humid Sunday evening at Klöckner Stadium, the No. 4 Virginia women’s soccer team faced Patriot League foe Loyola Maryland in its second home match of the year. After the opening whistle it was clear that Loyola (0-2, 0-0 Patriot League) was no match for the talented Virginia (2-0, 0-0 ACC) squad as the Cavaliers cruised to a 6-0 victory.
Virginia opened the scoring quickly as junior midfielder Lia Godfrey crossed the ball into the box and found the head of graduate student forward Haley Hopkins. She directed the ball towards the goal, which found the hands of senior Greyhound goalkeeper Paige Sim. However, junior forward Sarah Brunner found the rebound with her right foot and put the ball in the back of the net to make the score 1-0 only five minutes into the match.
The Cavaliers dominated possession throughout the game. Loyola could only muster one shot the entire game while Virginia was able to register 21 shots in the 90 minutes of action. The Cavaliers also had 11 corner kick opportunities while the Greyhounds could only generate one corner kick.
Virginia found the back of the net again in the 13th minute as graduate student forward Alexa Spaantstra noticed Sim was out of position and fired a shot from outside the box, making the score 2-0.
Virginia continued their scoring onslaught 11 minutes later when graduate student forward Rebecca Jarrett found some room off of a corner kick as she fired a shot with her right foot that beat Sim again to make the score 3-0.
Even with a 3-0 lead a little before halftime, the Cavaliers did not let their foot off the gas. Freshman midfielder Maggie Cagle made a beautiful pass through a tight window which fellow freshman midfielder Jill Flammia handled well with her right foot before striking the ball with her left foot to make the score 4-0 at halftime.
The Cavaliers continued to control the game in the second half, not allowing the Greyhounds any opportunities to score. Less than 10 minutes into the second period, Brunner scored her second goal of the game off of a fantastic cut inside the box to give Virginia a five-goal lead.
Virginia wrapped up the scoring with yet another goal in the 72nd minute when senior midfielder Emma Dawson scored her first goal of the season on a line drive shot from inside the box that gave the Cavaliers a 6-0 lead over the Greyhounds.
After converting 37 shots into only three goals Thursday night against George Mason, Virginia netting six goals on 21 shots is a major step in the right direction offensively. As the competition begins to ramp up, the Cavaliers will certainly need to operate efficiently on the attack in order to keep winning.
“It was a different game for sure in that we had good quality around the attacking third,” Coach Steve Swanson said. “We scored some really good goals in a lot of different ways. We had good flank play, a good transition goal and we had some good build up. There are lots of things we improved on from the last game.”
The Cavaliers have opened the season strong against their first two opponents, but they will undoubtedly face more difficult competition in the ACC with the likes of Florida State, Duke and North Carolina. To help prepare for conference play, Virginia will hit the road for their first ranked matchup against No. 19 Georgetown, which will be a major test for the Cavaliers in this young season. The game is set to kickoff at 4 p.m.