Women’s soccer kicks off the Virginia Cavaliers’ 2020-21 sports calendar today as they play host to Virginia Tech at Klöckner Stadium.
Coming off of what was a historic regular season in 2019—UVA claimed the top ranking of the United Soccer Coaches poll for seven consecutive weeks before the start of postseason play—Virginia will look to start things off in a similar manner.
The team returns seven starters from last year’s squad that went 17-2-3 overall, headlined by four former All-ACC selections: sophomore forward Diana Ordoñez, junior midfielders Alexa Spaanstra and Taryn Torres, and senior goalkeeper Laurel Ivory. Ordoñez and Spaanstra, who were second in the conference in points and assists, respectively, in 2019, also represented UVA in this season’s preseason poll.
Joining the returning starters is the nation’s second-ranked recruiting class, according to Top Drawer Soccer, including defender Samar Guidry, ranked No. 8 in the class and forward Lia Godfrey, ranked No. 10 in the class.
For Virginia Tech’s part, Saturday’s contest will be the first of many learning experiences for a team that will feature a relatively young group in 2020 (18 of the 30 members on their roster are freshmen or sophomores).
That rings particularly true on the back end, where the Hokies, who lost All-American goalkeeper Mandy McGlynn, return just one defender, Kiersten Hening, who appeared in more than five matches.
Offensively, Virginia Tech does have some experience, as they welcome back their four top goal scorers from a year ago. Nicole Kozlova, a Ukrainian National Team member, led this bunch in 2019 with five goals.
The two programs last played on Sept. 26 a season ago, with the Cavaliers, who lead the all-time series 20-4-1, picking up a 2-0 win at Klöckner. Second-half goals from Meghan McCool and Diana Ordoñez propelled the home team to the victory.
Saturday’s matchup will be the first of two meetings between the Hoos and the Hokies (UVA will travel to Blacksburg on Sept. 25). Kickoff for today’s game is set for 6 p.m.