The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

No. 2 Virginia women’s soccer ties with Syracuse 2-2

Crucial Cavalier mistakes and a late goal from Syracuse forced a tough tie in Charlottesville

<p>Freshman midfielder Maggie Cagle put together a strong performance Sunday afternoon, netting a goal to go along with an assist.</p>

Freshman midfielder Maggie Cagle put together a strong performance Sunday afternoon, netting a goal to go along with an assist.

In an attempt to rebound after Thursday night’s loss to No. 3 Florida State, No. 2 Virginia took on a struggling Syracuse team Sunday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers (10-2-2, 3-2-1 ACC) were unable to close the game against the Orange (8-5-1, 1-3-1 ACC) as the match ended in a 2-2 draw. After facing two straight top-five opponents in Duke and Florida State, this matchup against the Orange had all the makings of a trap game for Virginia, and the Cavaliers delivered a frustrating performance with crucial mistakes plaguing the team.

Virginia got off to a rough start Sunday, when in the second minute, after attempting to clear the ball away from the box, junior defender Laney Rouse mishit the ball, deflecting it off the post and into her own goal, giving the Orange an early 1-0 lead. 

Despite the own goal, the Cavaliers were dominant early, controlling possession and firing off six shots within the game’s first 18 minutes. Virginia had a solid chance towards goal in the eighth minute when freshman midfielder Maggie Cagle took a pass from graduate student forward Haley Hopkins at the top of the box. Cagle fired a shot, but it was easily corralled by freshman goalkeeper Shea Vanderbosch.

The Cavaliers found the equalizer in the 24th minute off an impressive goal from Cagle. Cagle took some dribbles as she weaved through Syracuse defenders towards the top of the box to find open space in front of the goal, and she beat Vanderbosch. Cagle has had an outstanding freshman campaign for the Cavaliers notching two goals and seven assists so far this season, a key contributor in the Virginia attack.

Right before halftime, Virginia had a chance to take the lead off a high arching corner kick from graduate student defender Sarah Clark. Fellow senior defender Talia Staude found the ball with her head, which found the outstretched arm of Vanderbosch. 

Despite the score being knotted at 1-1 going into the break, the Cavaliers were clearly the superior team in the first frame, registering 13 shots to just one from Syracuse. However, Vanderbosch was a force in front of the of the net as she logged four first-half saves.

Virginia opened the scoring in the second half off an impressive freshman-to-freshman connection in the 63rd minute. Cagle beat her defender on the right side of the box with a nifty juke and found fellow freshman midfielder Jill Flammia who beat Vanderbosch with a strong right-footed one touch to give the Cavaliers a 2-1 lead. 

Virginia continued to find scoring chances late into the second half but Vanderbosch stood strong as she racked up a career-high nine saves on the afternoon. 

Syracuse tied the game off a back-breaking mistake by the Cavaliers in the 89th minute. Senior goalkeeper Cayla White rolled the ball out to a defender, however, it was intercepted by Syracuse sophomore midfielder Pauline Machtens who quickly fired a shot off. White was able to save that shot but the rebound fell to the feet of sophomore midfielder Koby Commandant who beat White to tie the game at 2-2 with less than two minutes to play, securing the tie for the Orange.

Although not a loss, the result is surely a hard one to swallow for Virginia. The Cavaliers racked up 24 shots — including 11 on goal — to only three total shots from Syracuse. Going back to the Florida State game, despite Virginia outshooting its opponents 21-6, it has been outscored. As the team enters the final stretch of the regular season, it will need to capitalize more on its opportunities and avoid the crucial mistakes that have hurt the Cavaliers recently.

Coach Steve Swanson was disappointed with how his team performed on Sunday.

“Right now, we are not making plays on both ends of the field and that has been the difference,” Swanson said. “We have a lot of soccer left to play though and we will find out what our team is made of right now.”

Virginia has a huge opportunity to rebound from this frustrating outing Thursday night when they travel to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Clash. The game will kickoff at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on ACC Network.