On Friday evening, the #2 seed Virginia's women's soccer team took the pitch to face off against #1 seed Texas A&M in the 2014 College Cup semifinals. It was only Virginia's third-ever trip to the College Cup, but the second in two years.
And the Cavaliers were not to be denied.
The Cavaliers scored early (taking a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute) and often (becoming only the second team to score 3 goals against the Aggies) in sending Texas A&M packing from Boca Raton, Florida.
A picture-perfect header by Junior Makenzy Doniak off a cross by Senior Morgan Brian opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Doniak and Brian are two of Virginia's three semifinalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy. Go vote for them (and Danielle Colaprico) now!
Texas A&M tied the match in the 32nd minute when A&M's Kelley Monogue (not to be confused with Kylie Minogue) took a ricocheting free kick and beat Cavalier goalkeeper Morgan Stearns to the far post.
As time wound down in the first half, Virginia took the lead back and would not relinquish it. And it was another beautiful sequence of offensive ball control. Colaprico sent a corner kick across the goal from left to right (from Virginia's perspective). Sophomore Tina Iordanou headed the ball back across the goal from right to left (again from Virginia's perspective). On that side, Junior Emily Sonnett was waiting and sent a powerful header into the back of the net past the Aggie goalkeeper who had to be getting dizzy at that point.
The insurance goal came in the 87th minute when Alexis Shaffer beat a defender and the goalie for an unassisted tally. That gave Virginia the final 3-1 margin.
The game was overall a dominant affair for the Cavaliers. Aside from the obvious 3-1 margin, the Cavaliers also led in shots (14-11) and corners (12-6). Just as importantly, they held the Aggies scoreless for the final 58 minutes of action.
Up next for Virginia is the National Championship (er... College Cup Finals... though I like National Championship better) on Sunday at 1pm on ESPNU. The opponent? None other than the Cavaliers' nemesis Florida State. FSU (23-1-1) beat Stanford last night 2-0 (like Virginia, they had a late insurance goal) to advance to the title game.
Virginia fans know all too well that Florida State has been the thorn in Virginia's side. The Cavaliers (23-2-0) have two losses on the season and both came at the hands of the Seminoles. U.Va. lost 0-1 in Tallahassee back in September and again 0-1 in the ACC Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina in November.
Will the third time be a charm? We'll find out tomorrow at 1pm!