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Monday Motivation: Football cruises to 4-1 behind Benkert and Blanding

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Plus, soccer wins, field hockey dominates, and basketball has some pre-season footage (finally).

Duke v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

What a time to be alive, Wahoo fans. Let’s get to it.

Rapid Fire

-Preach, Ralph.

-#11 Men’s Soccer picked up two wins this week, starting with a 2-1 victory over Portland and finishing with a 2-1 win over Boston College.

Against Portland, the Hoos needed a golden goal from Edward Opoku - his team leading sixth of the season - to secure the win.

This was the SIXTH time the Hoos have played in extra time where they have a season record of 3-1-2 in overtime games.

Against Boston College, the Hoos got an early goal from Sergio Nus (second on the team behind Opoku with five goals) to secure the win.

Virginia is now 8-1-2 overall (2-1-2 ACC) with their lone loss coming to #7 UNC.

Extra congrats are in order this week for first year player Faris Abdi for making the Saudi Arabia National Team! Well done, Faris.

Next up, the Hoos face Lehigh in Charlottesville on Tuesday at 7pm.

-#13 Women’s Soccer also went undefeated this week, tying Notre Dame 1-1 and defeating Louisville 1-0 in overtime.

Against Notre Dame, Veronica Latsko continued her hot streak that saw her named the ACC Offensive Player of the Week as she scored the lone goal for the Hoos. Virginia fell behind 1-0 in the 41st minute, but Latsko found pay dirt in the 60th minute to tie it up.

Next, Latsko kept the fire going with the lone goal in the game against Louisville as she scored with time running out (the 99th minute) in overtime.

Latsko now has a team-leading five goals, all of which were scored in the last three games. Next up, the Hoos host Clemson on Saturday.

-Ryan Zimmerman and Sean Doolittle helped will the Washington Nationals to victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the NLDS, evening the series at one win apiece.

With the game tied at three in the bottom of the 8th with one out, Zimmerman stepped up to the plate and launched a ball that went juuuuust over the wall in left center field to give the Nats the lead and eventually the win.

Sean Doolittle - a former teammate of Zim’s as a Wahoo - came in in the top of the ninth and closed out the Cubs to secure the win.

Oh, and apparently he’s a “renowned metalhead”.

Oh, and Doolittle had a pretty big week last week personally, too:

Sean, of course, had the perfect tweet ready.

Congrats, Eireann and Sean!

-The Virginia Basketball (pre)season is upon us, and we’re finally getting some glimpses into the upcoming season both on the court...and above it?

Dave Koehn and Jeff White break down the practice footage below:

What’s your take on Jay Huff, Justin Anderson?

Look for our preseason basketball coverage starting THIS WEEK!!

-Speaking of Justin Anderson...

-#3 Field Hockey (11-2, 3-1 ACC) blanked Drexel 8-0, rebounding from just their second loss of the season (to UNC). First year Penn Dicke notched her fifth hat trick of the season and the Hoos recorded goals from six different goal scorers as they cruised to victory.

Virginia’s Tara Vitesse and Dicke have 56 and 40 points and 21 and 18 goals, respectively, which is good for first and second in the NCAA in both categories. Next up, Virginia travels to #9 Syracuse on Saturday.

-Virginia Tennis’ Aswin Lizen won the Farnsworth Invitational this week...

...and Virginia Tennis alum Dom Inglot made the semifinals of the Tokyo Open alongside doubles teammate Daniel Nestor.

-Congrats to fourth year Scott Hooper and third year Ryan Conrad for being elected Virginia Lacrosse team captains for this season!

Conrad is the first true third year (Tanner Scales and Greg Coholan were both RS-third year captains) to be named a team captain since Steele Stanwick in 2011. Is another national championship in the cards?

Team of the Week

I mean, I’ve got to, right? The Virginia Football team is now 4-1 on the season following Saturday’s 28-21 victory over the Duke Blue Devils and are playing well. Their 4-1 start is the best since 2007 and give the Hoos a good shot at making their first bowl game in several seasons.

Fourth year safety Quin Blanding got the scoring going for the Hoos with a pick-six (more on that later), and the good guys got two touchdowns from Doni Dowling and one from Olamide Zaccheaus in the win.

Quarterback Kurt Benkert overcame a sluggish first quarter and finished with 182 yards and a hat trick of touchdown passes:

Although the O-Line struggled early to find Benkert time, the UVA QB was only sacked once by the tenacious D-Line of Duke that is second in the ACC in that category.

First year Charles Snowden only had one tackle in the game, but it came late in the fourth quarter on a third and six for Duke as they looked for the equalizing score. Snowden got to Blue Devil quarterback Daniel Jones, recording a sack and dropping Duke to a do-or-die fourth-and-16 situation. Jones was unable to connect with his receiver on the next play, and the Hoos were able to assume the victory formation and run out the clock.

Next up, the Hoos head to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels. Kick-off is scheduled for 3:30pm and the game will be televised by regional sports networks.

Wahoo of the Week

If you put the Hoos on the board first by way of your first career touchdown AND are named the ACC Defensive Back of the Week, you’re going to be the StLMMWotW! Congrats, Quin Blanding!

Blanding perfectly executed the tip drill on a pass early in the first quarter against Duke and returned the ball 58 yards to the house.

He finished with eight tackles in the game, bringing his season total to 51 tackles, second in the ACC only to teammate Micah Kiser. Both the ACC and the Lott Impact Trophy recognized Blanding for his hard work this week.

As always, GO HOOS!