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Monday Motivation: December 1

While one team became champions, two knocked off former champions.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Good news everyone.  I've heard you've come into some free time, specifically on Saturdays. Well, have I got some ideas of what you can get into!

The Men's and Women's Soccer teams both played in the NCAA tournament over the weekend, and to say they fared well would be like saying Justin Anderson is kind of athletic.

First up, the ladies. The No.4 ranked Cavaliers traveled to Los Angeles to face the jerks that eliminated the Hoos last season reigning National Champions in UCLA. The Bruins were the last team to defeat Virginia that wasn't named Florida State, ranked No.1, and holding the top seed in this year's tournament.

None of that mattered to Coach Swanson's team. 33 minutes into the game, third year Emily Sonnett finished a deflection from a Mackenzy Doniak shot to give the Hoos a 1-0 lead going into half time. Check out the highlights below...Sonnett paid for that goal by way of a body check from the UCLA goalie. Yikes.

Superstar Morgan Brian added an unassisted goal in the 74th minute, marking the first time all season that any team had scored more than one goal on UCLA (yikes!). The Bruins scored their lone goal three minutes later, but the defense held strong for the last 16 minutes to secure the Elite 8 win and send them to the College Cup.

With the victory, Virginia ended UCLA's 44 game win-streak, including 27 straight at home. Can't imagine the Hoos are super popular in LA right now.

Next up, the Cavaliers will take on Texas A&M in Boca Raton, FL on Friday, 5 December at 5pm. The game will be on ESPNU.

Jake. We miss you.

Next up, the No.16 seeded Men's team made the trip to South Bend to guessed it...the reigning National Champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Like the ladies, the men faced the top seed in the tournament, and like the ladies, they didn't flinch.

In a defensive battle that would delight Tony Bennett, the Hoos kept the Irish off the board for 90 minutes. Virginia got it's lone goal from Nicko Corriveau on a low zinger that bounced to him off a defender's deflection (sound familiar?). Corriveau's goal came with just eight and a half minutes to play, and the Hoos were able to hold on for the nail-biting win.

The men will now travel to Washington, D.C. for the Elite 8 to face the 8th seeded Hoyas of Georgetown at 1pm on Saturday, 6 December. Virginia is the only school with both the men's and women's programs still playing in the NCAA tournament. Well done, Hoos.

In Women's Field Hockey news, first-year Tara Vittese was named to the 2014 First-Team All-America team, which complements her selection to First-Team All-ACC. Congratulations, Tara!

The Men's Basketball team saw action three times this week, winning all three to push their record to 7-0 and jump up to No.7 in the AP poll.

First up, the Hoos man-handled Tennessee State behind 20 points from Anderson and 16 from Anthony Gill. The two combined to go 13-13 from the floor, including Anderson's 5-5 mark from three point land. On top of that, Mike Tobey notched his first ever double double as a Wahoo (don't think too long on that), scoring 13 and grabbing 16 rebounds.

Tobey's 13 first half rebounds were more than Tennessee State had as a team in the first 20 minutes.

Friday, Virginia went on the road, traveling to the Big Apple to play in the third annual Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn. The La Salle Explorers were up first, and made everything a little bit too exciting.

After going up by 20, the Hoos went ice cold on offense as La Salle started hitting everything. With a four point lead and less than two minutes remaining in the second half, Malcolm Brogdon scored the last two points of his career high 20 from the free throw line before emphatic dunks by Anderson and Tobey closed out the game.

Anthony Gill exploded for 16 points and 10 rebounds, notching his first Virginia double double.

The win put Virginia in the Classic Championship Game against Big 10 competitor Rutgers, who had defeated Vanderbilt the night before.

In the first half, Virginia couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, giving Rutgers an 18-17 lead. Yes, after a full half that was the score. Although offensive gems were tough to come by in the opening 20 minutes, Justin Anderson had an aggressive play from the top of the arc that led to a one-handed dunk.

Since Coach Bennett is the world's greatest adjustment maker, Virginia came out in the second half ready to play. The Hoos clamped down on defense, allowing just eight Rutgers points in the second half.


Eight points.

Rutgers scored eight points. As in single digits. As in a touchdown with the two point conversion.


The 26 points scored by Rutgers was their lowest offensive point output since World War II (1942-1943 season), and was the fewest scored against Virginia in the shot-clock era.

Justin Anderson scored 13 for the Hoos, returning to his spot as leading scorer (or sharing) after his one game hiatus. JA was also named to the Barclays Center Classic All-Tournament team for his performance over the two games.

Anthony Gill was the real star of the weekend, however. His 13 points and five rebounds against Rutgers were crucial, and he provided the spark in the second half that the Hoos so desperately needed. Five of his points came from the charity stripe, somewhere he has looked considerably more comfortable this season. His two-day, 29 point, 15 rebound, 9-14 shooting (and 11-14 from the free throw line), two assist, and four steal totals earned him the MVP nod, and deservedly so.

Virginia has now won back-to-back non conference tournaments (what up, Corpus Christi), which is great practice for the tough slate the Hoos are about to hit.

Next up is the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. Since we can't have nice things, the Cavaliers have to travel back to College Park to face the now No.21 Maryland Terrapins. This game has a distinct 'visiting the ex to pick up your stuff, but you want to look nice to prove you won the breakup' feel to it.

The Terps have an impressive win over No.13 Iowa State under their belt, but will be forced to play without Dez Wells. The game tips at 9:15 and will be televised on ESPN2. If you are within 14 hours of UMD, you should probably go though.

Happy December, and as always...GO HOOS!

**A previous posting said Maryland beat Iowa, not Iowa State. It has been corrected.**