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Virginia women’s soccer picks up their seventh win of the season against Oregon State

A well-balanced attack gave the Cavaliers a dominant victory over the Beavers

<p>Freshman midfielder Maggie Cagle scored her first collegiate goal Thursday night and was the first to score in an eventful evening for the Virginia offense.</p>

Freshman midfielder Maggie Cagle scored her first collegiate goal Thursday night and was the first to score in an eventful evening for the Virginia offense.

The goals just kept coming for Virginia women’s soccer, as it picked up its second straight 5-0 victory Thursday evening, this time over visiting Oregon State (3-2-2, 0-0 PAC-12). 

Fifth-year goalkeeper Michaela Moran got the start in goal for the Cavaliers (7-0-1, 0-0 ACC), and delivered her first solo shutout of the season. It was the sixth game in a row that Virginia has blanked its opponent, as the team has gone 558:08 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal, the eighth longest streak in program history. Since allowing their last goal, the Cavaliers have reeled off 25 in a row of their own.

Virginia was looking for graduate student forward Haley Hopkins early. Her second shot of the game happened just after the 11-minute mark when junior defender Laney Rouse gave Hopkins a great chance at a header into the goal. However, Beaver junior goalkeeper Hailey Coll was positioned well enough to get the save, as the Virginia fans in attendance let out a collective gasp.

Instead, it was freshman midfielder Maggie Cagle who would strike first for the Cavaliers in the 25th minute. Junior defender Samar Guidry sent the ball in from the left side to senior midfielder Emma Dawson, who then assisted Cagle for her first career goal from near the penalty marker. 

Freshman forward Maya Carter added two more goals before halftime. Her first came in the 40th minute when she launched a shot from distance that Coll fumbled and recovered. However, upon a very quick review of the play, it was evident that the keeper had dropped the ball behind the goal line, and the call was ruled a goal.

Carter was clearly not content with a two-goal lead going into the break, as she added another with 18 seconds left in the half on a pass from junior midfielder Chloe Japic. 

Coach Steve Swanson was very impressed with the performance of the freshmen in the first half.

“This group of first years has been impactful from the beginning,” Swanson said. “We had another one get her first goal tonight in Maggie Cagle. She’s been terrific for us all year … Maya Carter scored a really nice goal with her head right before the half and has been making contributions.”

The Cavaliers kept their foot on the gas coming out of halftime, as junior midfielder Lia Godfrey scored Virginia’s fourth after only a few minutes into the half. After a corner kick, Guidry played the ball to Godfrey, who bent a shot to the back post and in for the goal. It was Guidry’s second assist of the evening.

After keeping up the pressure throughout the second half, the Cavaliers’ fifth and final goal of the match was another stunner. Graduate student defender Sarah Clark played a clean pass between two defenders ahead to junior midfielder Sarah Brunner. Brunner then delivered a perfectly placed cross to Dawson who put it in the back of the net in the 77th minute.

The Cavaliers’ offense has been clicking recently, and Swanson has been very pleased with their growth as a team.

“We talked to the players about getting the ball in behind their back line. We got a couple of goals that way, which was good. We got good contributions from a lot of players and we solved their tight defense,” Swanson said. “Earlier in the season we might have gone in at halftime without scoring, but it was nice to see us solve that the way we did in the first half.”

Virginia will get one more chance to get ready for ACC competition, as it will play one last non-conference game against VCU at home Sunday. That match will kickoff at 2 p.m.