What a wild ride this month has been for the Virginia women's soccer team. And there are still two big games left in September.
The ladies spent most of August tuning up and getting ready for the ACC slate by pounding their opponents. After a 2-1 win over WVU, they outscored their next five opponents by a combined score of 24-2. That's domination.
But since then, things have been a little crazy. A tie and a loss against unranked opponents, an enormous win over a top-10 team and a tough road loss against a ranked team has left fans wondering what this team is all about.
Find out after the jump.
It started with Washington State. On the first day of the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic, the host Cavaliers out-shot the Cougars 19-4 and held a 15-3 corner kick advantage. Freshman Morgan Brian had as many shots as the entire Cougar squad. Caroline Miller actually out-shot them on her own. But after 110 minutes - two overtime periods - the game ended with a 0-0 tie.
Unfortunately, the other visitors weren't any more kind to their hosts.
Two days later, the ladies found themselves in a remarkably similar situation. They out-shot the visiting Nittany Lions 17-11 and held a 5-4 advantage on corner kicks. This time there was no overtime... but there was also no tie. Penn State escaped Charlottesville with a 3-2 win over then #7 Virginia, handing the Cavaliers their first loss of the season.
So what's the perfect way to get over a tough weekend of soccer? Play the #6 team in the country!
This time the 'Hoos were up for the task. Once again, Virginia out-shot their opponent by a significant margin. This time it was 18-6. Once again, the Cavaliers held an advantage on corner kicks. This time it was 3-0. The difference in this game was the final score. At the 90 minute mark, Virginia held a 4-1 advantage on the scoreboard. A huge win over a top 10 team and still Maryland's only loss on the season.
Unfortunately, the roller coaster doesn't end there. This past Sunday the 14th-ranked Cavaliers traveled to Boston and faced 18th-ranked Boston College. Shots (13-6) and corner kicks (10-3) were in Virginia's favor once again. But the scoreboard favored the opponents. The Cavaliers left Massachusetts with a 0-2 loss.
It doesn't get any easier from here, however. This Sunday, the Cavaliers travel to Chapel Hill to take on the 5th-ranked Tar Heels at 3pm. Four days later, they're back in North Carolina, this time a few miles down the road in Durham, to face the 4th-ranked Blue Devils.
While the 7-2-1 record isn't as strong as I would have thought it would be at this point in the season, I'm not that discouraged. Virginia has a lot of young players contributing and with their talent they're only going to get better. They've been controlling the pitch fairly well, even in their losses. Finishing will come in due time.
I wanted to just take a minute to point out some stats for the season:
- Out-scored opponents 32-9.
- Out-shot opponents 204-54 (wow!).
- An 82-21 corner kick advantage.
- The Cavaliers' leading scorer is junior Caroline Miller with 9 goals and 3 assists.
- Behind Miller are sophomore Gloria Douglas (4g, 6a) and freshman Morgan Brian (3g, 3a).
- Goalie Chantel Jones has played every minute in goal so far this season. Through 10 games, she's allowed only 9 goals, including 4 shutouts.