Our long national nightmare is over. After a never-ending summer devoid of college athletics, the Virginia Cavaliers are back in our lives as the No. 8 women’s soccer team kicks off their season against Colgate tonight in Charlottesville.
Virginia hasn’t played Colgate since 2010, when the Cavaliers picked up a 6-0 win. The Red Raiders went 10-7-2 last year, with their season ending in a 3-0 loss to Navy in the Patriot League tournament.
You can stream tonight’s game, which starts at 7pm, on WatchESPN.
Before things get started we’re taking a quick look back at how the Hoos fared last season, and what you can expect for this coming season.
A look back at 2017-18: The Hoos finished the season 13-6-4, falling in the NCAA tournament Round of 16 to UCLA. Virginia went 5-2-3 in the ACC with the losses coming in 1-0 scores to No. 2 Duke (twice) and No. 8 UNC.
Players lost: Virginia’s leading goal scorer Veronica Latsko (eight goals, four assists) was drafted by the NWSL’s Houston Dash.
Players back: Coach Swanson and the Hoos bring back nine regular starters from last season, including three of their top five goal scorers. Midfielder Tarryn Torres (eight goals, one assist) was named preseason All-ACC by the coaches in the league, named All-ACC Third Team last season, and earned All-Freshman honors. She is joined by Betsy Brandon and Montana Sutton (three goals apiece) to round out the top goal scorers returning.
Redshirt second year Anna Sumpter could play a bigger role this season in the midfield following her rebound from several ACL tears over the last few seasons. Defender Pheobe McClernon—who joined Torres on All-ACC Third Team last year—will anchor the Cavalier defense.
On top of all the returning players, the Hoos bring in the No. 4 recruiting class according to Top Drawer Soccer, and add Northwestern transfer McKenna Angotti.
2018-19 Projection: Virginia is preseason ranked No. 8 according to the United Soccer Coaches poll. They’re third in the ACC with Duke (No. 3) and North Carolina (No. 6) coming in ahead of them. The Hoos will also face Penn State (No. 4), Notre Dame (No. 14), Florida State (No. 10), and NC State (No. 20) over the course of the season.
Expectations will be high as the Hoos return 60% of their goals scored and add with dynamic first years.