It’s been a good week for the Virginia Cavaliers as they knocked off Wake Forest 1 – 0 on Thursday and then crushed NC State 4 – 0 on Sunday. Coming on the heels of a three-game slide that saw Virginia skid into the ACC-tournament bubble, the women restored order in the friendly confines of Klöckner Stadium.
Six minutes into the Wake game, I wrote in my logbook: No goals given up so far! Given Virginia’s mental lapses over the past three games, this was the most noteworthy moment of the game, having gotten to the mid-game unscathed. Virginia was in control of the game from the get-go and only the staunch play of Wake keeper, Kaitlyn Parks, would keep the Deacons in the game.
It wouldn’t take long for Virginia to score early in the second half as freshman Jill Flammia (if you haven’t yet, get used to that name) slipped a long, diagonal through ball to space. Haley Hopkins made an incredible run to get to the ball, beat her defender and then made the pass to an on-rushing Maggie Cagle who slotted the ball home.
This week, TopDrawer Soccer announced their best freshman of this year, and Cagle was #15 on the list. If Flammia hadn’t missed seven games due to injury, she’d be on that list as well. She’s growing every game.
This was also the most complete game that Laney Rouse has played in orange (well, pink since it was Virginia’s Breast Cancer Awareness game.)
On Thursday night we'll battle for ACC points, but we'll also be playing in recognition of a greater battle.— Virginia Women's Soccer (@UVAWomenSoccer) October 18, 2022
Join us for our Breast Cancer Awareness game at Klöckner Stadium at 7 p.m.#GoHoos ⚔️ | #ALLIN⚽️ pic.twitter.com/GTI89kKjE5
Rouse’s compatriot on the right, Samar Guidry, walked into the starting lineup three years ago, replacing the departed Courtney Peterson. It’s been a circuitous route for Rouse, having to first displace Sarah Clark two years ago and then last year sharing time with Lizzy Sieracki. Rouse, throughout her tenure here, has always played fewer minutes than Guidry, but not this year. I’ve long thought that Clark should be starting in defense, and then just as I’d come around to Rouse as the starter…
Senior Day rolled around and Clark, a fifth-year grad student, got the starting nod. Although I was expecting Clark to start, according to the announcers, it was something of a game-day decision, meaning that Rouse had picked up a knock. Clark was one of a trio of seniors who accounted for Virginia’s first three goals against NC State.
In hindsight, the game was over early, (Senior Alexa Spaanstra scored just three minutes in) but NC State was well-organized and energetic and played themselves right back into the game by defending deep, but aggressively once the Cavaliers crossed midfield. But then Clark got free on the right and chipped a lovely pass to Hopkins on the far post who headed home. 2 – 0 to the good guys and it was game over.
The Cavaliers scored just 45 seconds into the second half as Maggie Cagle, who to that point had played a sub-par game (to her standards,) abused two defenders and found Spaanstra for her second goal of the day.
After that, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Virginia was running at NC State in waves, starters and second-teamers alike. Lia Godfrey would add one more goal to the final score and then coach Steve Swanson emptied his bench.
Next Up: With the victory and Pitt’s loss to Florida State, Virginia nudged into 5th in the ACC standings, and as it stands now, a first round matchup with Duke, which is a team that I feel comfortable with.
Virginia closes the regular season on Thursday, October 27th, away at bottom-dweller Miami. Kickoff is 6:00pm and the game will be on ACCNX.
Senior Day: The Cavaliers bid farewell to seven players on Senior Day. The trio of Claire Constant, Rebecca Jarrett and Alexa Spaanstra have been on Grounds for five years now. Spaanstra skipped into the starting lineup since Day 1 and has been a force ever since, including getting her 100th start this week. Jarrett came off the bench her first year, but her speed made opposing coaches have to game plan for her. Injuries have robbed her of most of the past two years. Constant took a while to get into the starting lineup: Phoebe McClernon and Zoe Morse were patrolling the center of defense her first two years, but she’s been a constant ever since (pun intended.)
Michaela Moran had the unenviable timing of coming to Virginia just a year after Laurel Ivory. In this, most likely her final appearance for the ‘Hoos, Moran got the shutout. Hopkins and Clark transferred to Virginia and we’ve been blessed by their presence. The last senior honored was Jansen Eichenlaub who I think played in only one game in her UVA career, but teams need squad players. Thanks to all for your contributions to the program and to Virginia!
Hey Hoos! It's Senior Day and we want to come help us send this crew off in style!— Virginia Women's Soccer (@UVAWomenSoccer) October 23, 2022
Live Stats: https://t.co/Gi1MKhm0kq#GoHoos ⚔️ | #ALLIN⚽️ pic.twitter.com/GyDainYqi6