Near the end of the second half Thursday night at Klöckner Stadium, I turned to one of my fellow spectators and commented on how much more energy the Cavaliers seemed to have compared to their rival Hokies. While Virginia didn't outshoot Virginia Tech by as much as they did some other opponents, the game was as lopsided as any ACC contest has been so far this season.
Golden Girl Caroline Miller scored her 13th and 14th goals of the season as she both started and finish the scoring on the night. Her first goal was a very well placed strike to the upper corner. On her second, she showed some nice moves by breaking the ankles of the Hokie defender before putting the ball in the back of the net.
Julia Roberts made it 2-0 in the 31st minute when she curved a free kick from the top of the box into the upper left corner of the goal, just out of reach of Hokie goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts. The goals by Miller and Roberts were a lesson in shot placement for anyone watching. Absolutely gorgeous.
Freshman phenom Morgan Brian added her 6th goal of the season on a terrific header off a long cross in the 54th minute.
Erica Hollenberg assisted on both of Caroline Miller's goals, while Brian, Amanda Fancher, Roberts and Molly Menchel all also contributed an assist.
Virginia controlled possession on their offensive half for the majority of the game. While the Hokies had several scoring opportunities, goalie Chantel Jones made terrific plays on each to secure the shutout. The Cavaliers finished with 13 shots to the Hokies' 10. Tech did have more corner kicks - a 6-2 advantage - but were unable to convert on any of them.
The Cavaliers return to action next Thursday, October 27th at 7pm against Miami. That will be senior night for the five seniors on the team - including the aforementioned Jones, and the final regular season match of the year.
The 2011 ACC Women's Soccer Championships begin next Sunday, October 30th. Oddly, the first round is played at the higher-seeded team's home field. Currently Virginia is in a three-way tie for first place with Duke and North Carolina. Both the Tar Heels and Blue Devils have two games remaining on their schedule. Wake Forest is in fourth place. By my calculations, the 'Hoos can't fall any further than 4th place, so they are assured of hosting the first round on the 30th. Their opponent is still very much up in the air, however.