No. 4 UVA women’s soccer routs Liberty 4-0 to kick off season
LYNCHBURG, Va. (Via University of Virginia) – Youth played a big role in the season opener on Friday, with two freshmen scoring goals and another assisting on a third, as No. 4 Virginia (1-0-0) defeated Liberty (0-1-0) by a score of 4-0.
Senior goalkeeper Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas) picked up the win and tied the school record for wins in a career at 55, matching the mark set by Chantel Jones in the 2011 season. Stearns is now 55-5-4 for her career.
Sophomore Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.) scored the opening goal, while freshmen Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.) and Taylor Ziemer (Santa Rosa, Calif.) both scored their first career goals. Senior Meghan Cox (Springfield, Va.) capped the scoring for the Cavaliers on the night.
Virginia out-shot the Flames 21-to-5 on the night.
“We’ve been working on some things offensively and I think we have to be a little sharper in the attacking third, but we finished some nice goals,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “We had a few chances for some others, especially on set pieces. I still think we’re a work in progress, but it was nice to see us finish some goals.
“We’ve got some good athletes out there (in the freshmen),” Swanson said. “They’re still learning the physicality of the game and there is less space here. We are a young team and we’re just trying to get better every day and find ourselves. Playing games will help that.”
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The Cavaliers wasted no time on the offensive side of things with Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) firing off the first shot in the opening minute, but the shot hit the crossbar. Zoe Morse (East Lansing, Mich.) fired off a shot off the rebound, but it was wide.
Brandon got Virginia on the board in the 13th minute when she took a pass in the middle of the box from Tina Iordanou (Upper Brookville, N.Y.) on the near side and sent it in past the near post for the 1-0 lead.
McCool took the lead out to 2-0 in the 27th minute with a goal that sneaked in past the keeper as she launched her shot from just outside the 18-yard box.
The Cavaliers added to the lead in the 67th minute when Ziemer took the ball just outside the top of the box, dribbled into the far side of the box and fired one across the face of the keeper for the goal. Two minutes later, Meghan Cox (Springfield, Va.) took a service off a free kick from Alissa Gorzak (Naperville, Ill.) and headed it in for the 4-0 lead.
Virginia will return to action on Sunday (Aug. 21) afternoon, hosting George Mason at 5 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium in the home opener for the Cavaliers.