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Monday Motivation: December 8

One season ended this week, but huge performances from soccer and basketball.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This week was something else for the University of Virginia.

Let's get straight to it.

The Women's Soccer team had a heckuva weekend, playing in the College Cup for the third time (and twice in as many years) in program history.

In the semis, the Hoos faced Texas A&M down in Boca Raton, Florida. Third year Makenzy Doniak drew first blood for Virginia, but the Aggies responded with a goal of their own. Just before the half, however, fellow third year Emily Sonnett headed home a goal off of a corner kick.

Sonnett's goal would be all the Cavaliers needed to reach the final, but second year Alexis Shaffer joined the fun and added one more for insurance, giving Virginia the 3-1 victory and their first ever trip to the NCAA finals.

The win inspired tons of support from the Virginia community, and deservedly so.

With Florida State's 2-0 win over Stanford, the stage was set for the THIRD meeting between the two teams this season. The Seminoles were the only team that had blemished Virginia's 23-2-0 record, and the game played out like a war of attrition. With just seven minutes left in regulation, Florida State's Jamia Fields found pay dirt, sneaking one past Virginia keeper Morgan Stearns and giving the 'Noles a lead they wouldn't relinquish, despite some last minute attempts from the Hoos.

Although the outcome is disappointing, this team and this season certainly was not. I know I speak on behalf of STL and Wahoos everywhere when I say congratulations on an outstanding season and continuing to raise the bar for Virginia women's soccer. We are all proud of you, and we are happy to have you representing the University of Virginia. Thank you.

Ok, back to the motivation part.

The Men's Soccer team fought for their right to reach back-to-back College Cups like their female counterparts this weekend in a tilt in the Nation's Capital when they traveled to face No.8 seed Georgetown in a rainy affair on Saturday afternoon.

The first half remained scoreless, but the Hoyas struck just 14 minutes into the second stanza to take a 1-0 lead. Just when all hope seemed lost for the good guys, Todd Wharton buried a burner to equalize the game with a mere 53 seconds left in regulation.

Fifty. Three. Seconds.

The Cardiac Cavs survived both overtime periods behind two big-time saves by keeper Calle Brown. Then, the penalty kicks.

Wharton? Why not. It's good.

Georgetown scored, so Patrick Foss went ahead and put the Hoos up 2-1.

Scott Thomsen makes it 3-2. Sam Hayward makes it 4-3.

Georgetown answered to even it up at 4-4.

Riggs Lennon. Cool as a cucumber. Shooting to give Virginia a chance to go to the College Cup. Nails it. No worries.

And then...


Tell us about it, Darius:

Virginia will now face unseeded UMBC on Friday, 12 December at 5pm on ESPNU. The game will take place in Cary, so all those North Carolina Hoos get out and get loud!

Women's Basketball dropped some baskets on Delaware State on Saturday, demolishing them to the tune of 100-62. The Cavaliers were led by first year Mikayla Venson who scored 22 points for her first ever 20 point game as a Wahoo. Breyana Mason put up 16 points and seven assists, while Faith Randolph added 15 of her own. First year Jae'Lisa Allen scored points 99 and 100 with her layup with 17 seconds remaining, giving her her first career points in a Virginia uniform.

The last time Virginia hit the century mark was November 18, 2009.

Finally, this week was an impressive one for the No.7 Virginia Men's Basketball team as they went on the road to Maryland (ugh) and Virginia Commonwealth University. Things were, well...

Wednesday, the Hoos traveled into College Park to take one for the team face the Terrapins as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Since Virginia Tech and UNC can't do what they're supposed to (along with some others, but whatever), the game was meaningless in regards to the challenge. That was not the case on the court.

As expected, the Maryland crowd was as welcoming as Bill Belichick in a post-loss presser. Also as expected, they still haven't gotten over the fact that Justin Anderson decided not to go there after Gary Williams retired and therefore chanted lovely, heartwarming things at him and booed him every time he touched the ball.

Well, try as they might, none of that mattered once the game started and the Hoos took control. Virginia led tip to tail, winning against No.21 Maryland with a final score of 76-65.

Malcolm Brogdon led the way for the Hoos, scoring 18 points, including a backbreaking three with just over four minutes remaining.

Justin Anderson chipped in 16 points in 25 minutes before leaving the game with an apparent ankle sprain (more on that later).

The Hoos also lost starting forward Darion Atkins with 4:08 remaining in the first half as he fell awkwardly on his back in an ugly spill over teammate Evan Nolte. In his stead, Mike Tobey put up a solid 14 points, six rebounds, two blocks, and one steal while Anthony Gill contributed 11 points of his own.

London Perrantes played a solid game with seven assists and zero turnovers.

Marial Shayok may have been the bright spot of the night, scoring nine points, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out four assists...all in just 26 minutes. On the defensive end, Evan Nolte contributed 23 minutes, one block, one steal, and four points. Both Shayok and Nolte were clutch in keeping a high level of play up with the foul trouble the Hoos got in (everyone had infinity fouls) and the injuries.

Next on the schedule was VCU. Looking to exact revenge over Treveon Graham's three point game winner at JPJ last year, the Hoos traveled to Richmond to face their in-commonwealth foes. Where Maryland was hostile in the I-may-get-stabbed-if-I-don't-move-quickly kind of way, the Siegel Center was hostile in the most flattering utilization of the word.

The Rams fans executed a flawless whiteout and boast a pretty stellar band. However, the Hoos settled in and proved that the packline truly is stronger than the havoc.

Justin Anderson showed no indication of his sprained ankle bothering him, putting up 21 points and grabbing eight rebounds on 6-7 shooting, including 3-4 from beyond the arc. He also made all six of his free throw attempts. Tobey started in the place of the injured Atkins, scoring eight points and hauling in eight rebounds of his own. Tobey did struggle with the speed and agility of VCU's smaller players, so Evan Nolte got significant playing time.

Oh, Nolte. The Noltre. The NolteFace.

Evan saw 18 minutes of playing time, scoring just four points...but he got the steal of the century. After Virginia turned the ball over late in the first half and with an eight point lead, Nolte chased down Briante Weber and, well...just look.

This led to the oh-so-awesome #FlyNolteFly hashtag, and the internet did its thing from there.

Classic NoteFace.

Proud big bro was on hand for the day, too.

Gill continued his impressive season, scoring 18 points on 7-9 shooting and 4-6 from the line. Also big, no fouls. Malcolm Brogdon contributed a cool 15 points, and Perrantes showed signs of turning back into 2013-2014 London that we know and love. His nine assists are run of the mill for him, and his six points don't necessarily jump off the stat sheet, but his floater with 5:50 remaining that pushed Virginia's lead back to six was one of the biggest of the game.

The back-to-back wins over local rivals in hostile settings while battling injuries and foul trouble were nothing less than impressive. This team is making moves.

Basketball is in their exam break, so no games for awhile. Stay frosty, Hoos. Wahoowa!