The Virginia women's soccer team is one step closer to the College Cup. The top ranked Cavaliers beat no. 11 USC 2-0 on Sunday behind goals from Makenzy Doniak and Alexis Shaffer.
“It’s a big win today because that was a tough USC team today,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “They didn’t finish second in the Pac 12 for nothing. They are good and they are athletic. It was a change from the first two games with how we had to adjust and break things down. We’re happy to be moving on for sure."
The Cavaliers had to be patient against the Trojans. The 'Hoos struggled to find the finishing touch in the first half, but with three minutes to go in the first half Tina Iordanou crossed a ball into the box to Doniak, who two used two touches to stike it past USC keeper Sammy Joe Prudhomme.
“That first goal was huge," he said. "It gives your team confidence because now the onus was on them to try to score. They were sitting back a little bit. It definitely changed the dynamic."
The Trojans, however, did not sit back, coming out of the break completely energized. After only recording one shot on goal in the first half, USC managed five in the second. UVA keeper Megan Stearns made five saves during the air assault, but in the end the 'Hoos caught a break. Britanny Ratcliffe sent a perfectly placed ball to Veronica Latsko, who pulled it back to Shaffer, who in turn it blasted it pass the USC keeper.
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"The second goal was fantastic. That was a back breaker for sure," said Swanson. "Credit Brittany for sending that ball behind and for Shaff for doing what she does best.”
The Cavs recorded their 14th clean sheet of the season on the way to the win. The 'Hoos will now turn their attentions to Rutgers on Friday in the NCAA quarter final game.
“We’re really happy with the result, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Shaffer said. “We want to win the national championship.”