No. 5 Virginia women’s soccer came off their 5-0 victory against Nevada by replicating that score at the in-state, home matchup against Radford. The Cavaliers, (2-0, 0-0 ACC) held the Highlanders (1-1, 0-0 Big South) to just one shot in their stellar defensive performance. Offensively, the Cavaliers put up 24 shots of their own and made junior goalkeeper Jordan Phillips’s night a busy one.
Virginia did not waste any time, and sophomore forward Maggie Cagle started the Cavalier’s offensive surge. Cagle, a preseason all-ACC selection, was eager to get her season off on the right foot. Within the first minute, as she closed in on the Radford goal, she was tripped and the sound of the referee’s whistle indicated that Virginia would have a good shot at scoring with a penalty kick. Cagle sent the ball into the right back corner of the goal, and Phillips didn’t move an inch to give the Cavaliers the early 1-0 lead.
Cagle wasn’t done, and in the 12th minute she stormed up the left side of the field, eluding the defender with her dribbles and sent the ball into the same back right corner. As she put her hands in the air, Virginia was up two goals.
As time began to wind down in the first half, Virginia coach Steve Swanson felt comfortable bringing some of his starters out of the game. One of the substitutes, senior forward Sarah Brunner, was ready to make the most of the opportunity. Within the first minute of her entrance, graduate student defender Lacey McCormack found Brunner, who headed the ball over Phillips to give the Cavaliers a 3-0 lead.
In the 33rd minute, Radford had their first, and only, shot attempt of the game, but the shot was weak and graduate student goalkeeper Cayla White picked it up with ease.
As the first half came to a close, it was clear that it was a one-sided affair, but Virginia wasn’t done with their offensive performance.
In the 69th minute, Cagle, the returning assist leader for the Cavaliers, passed the ball inside to freshman midfielder Yuna McCormack, who managed to sneak the ball past three defenders and into the back of the net to pick up her first collegiate goal.
To round out the scoring, in the 76th minute, sophomore forward Maya Carter received the ball from the right corner and she swiftly sailed it past a diving Phillips to put Virginia up 5-0, a score that would stand for the rest of the contest.
“It’s good to get on the board as early as we did," Swanson said. “I think early goals really help settle the game down a little bit. It was good to see Maggie Cagle get on the board, she’s been playing very well for us and obviously we need her to create and score goals”
Seeing contributions from a wide array of Cavalier players is a promising sign for a Virginia team that has been plagued by injuries in recent months. It’s clear, however, that with the depth of this roster, the Cavaliers will be able to compete with just about anyone.
The Cavaliers will continue their homestand on Thursday night at 8:15 p.m. against Michigan. You can catch the game on ACCNX.