When we last checked in with the Virginia women's soccer team, they had just beaten #9 Notre Dame 3-2 in double overtime to maintain their perfect record.
Since then? More of the same.
The Cavaliers took to the road and made a swing through tobacco road, stopping at the three remaining Carolina schools on their schedule. The result in each was the same - a multi-goal Virginia victory.
On October 13th, #1 Virginia (16-0, 10-0 ACC) traveled to Wake Forest (8-3-2, 3-3-2 ACC) and dispatched the #11 Demon Deacons by a 2-0 margin. Sophomore Brittany Ratcliffe and freshman Alexis Shaffer provided the scoring for the Cavaliers while freshman Morgan Stearns tallied her fifth shutout of the season.
Up next was North Carolina State (6-10, 1-9 ACC). In Raleigh, the Virginia offense was simply overwhelming for the Wolfpack. The Cavaliers notched four goals in the first 31 minutes of action and coasted to a 5-0 victory. Senior Gloria Douglas, sophomore Makenzy Doniak and Ratcliffe (x2) provided the first-half scoring while junior Mary Morgan netted her first goal of the season to complete the scoring. Senior Danielle DeLisle (80 minutes) and redshirt freshman Jessie Ferrari (10 minutes) managed the shutout. It was Ferrari's debut for the Cavaliers.
The final game of the tobacco road show came against the toughest opponent of the season - #4 North Carolina (13-3, 7-3 ACC). There was an interesting side story to this game as both Virginia junior Morgan Brian and North Carolina senior Crystal Dunn - two of the best collegiate players in the country - were with the U.S. Women's National Team for their friendly against Australia. Brian and Dunn are each the leading scorer on their respective teams heading into the contest.
The Cavaliers got on the board early, when Ratcliffe tapped in a cross from junior Danielle Colaprico in the 13th minute. The score would remain 1-0 Virginia until the 84th minute when sophomore Emily Sonnett found Doniak on a breakaway. Doniak doesn't miss many of those opportunities and she didn't this time either, providing late insurance for the Cavalier victory. Stearns again earned the shutout for Virginia, her sixth of the season.
Virginia is now guaranteed a home game in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on Sunday, November 3rd at 1pm. Their opponent is still yet to be determined.
In the interim, Virginia has some big games remaining on their schedule and luckily for the Hoos (and their fans) they are all home games.
The Cavaliers face Miami (8-6-1, 3-6-1 ACC) on Thursday at 7pm. Miami has gone 1-2-1 in their last four matches, with a win over Pitt, losses to Syracuse and Maryland and a tie with Boston College. They did, however, upset then-#3 Notre Dame in the game before that.
Then come the remaining juggernauts on the schedule: #3 Florida State visits at 2pm on Sunday. The 'Noles (13-0-3, 8-0-2 ACC) are also undefeated this season, though they have tied three times (twice in the ACC). FSU plays #6 Virginia Tech on Thursday at 7pm, so that will certainly be an interesting one for Cavalier fans to pay attention to. Especially because...
... Virginia Tech is the Wahoos' final regular season opponent. The Hokies (13-1-2, 8-1-1 ACC) have had a very impressive season so far and will be a stiff test for Virginia. They're ranked #6 in the country right now but the new polls due out tomorrow will likely have them at #5 after #3 Carolina's loss to Virginia or maybe even #4 after current #4 Portland needed overtime to beat unranked Gonzaga. Of course, there will be another set of polls released before we play them since that game isn't until Halloween - next Thursday - at 7pm.
If you haven't come out to a game yet this year, I urge you to do so. Get here early for homecoming this weekend or the Clemson game next weekend and get out and see the team. Or stay late after homecoming this weekend and catch them on Sunday before you head out of town. Regardless, just come support the team. They are very good and deserve your support.