The six month streak without University of Virginia sports finally ended Saturday night when the women’s soccer program beat Virginia Tech 3-1 in a dominant performance.
Steve Swanson’s club looked anything but rusty after a preseason without scrimmages, scoring within the first 10 minutes of the match to take control. The Cavaliers seemed poised to post a shutout victory until Emily Gray converted on a late penalty kick for the Hokies.
Regardless, UVa looked the part of an ACC title contender for most of the night. It was a positive return to action.
“Overall, there’s a lot of things good that we can take away from the game,” Swanson said. “The best part is that we played. I think everybody, including the coaches, you tend to take that for granted until something like this happens. You realize, ‘Wow, this is what we love to do.’”
While the match counts as a nonconference game due to a few ACC scheduling tweaks this fall, the Wahoos are off to a good start in their 11-game slate. They’re happy to be back on the field, and the team looked good despite Swanson wanting to see improved fitness as the season progresses.
Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s action.
Ordonez back at it
Diana Ordonez scored UVa’s first goal of the 2020 season early in the win over the Hokies. The prolific sophomore finished the 2019 season with 15 goals in 19 matches. She’s off to a quick start in the 2020 slate as well.
“It was really nice,” Ordonez said of playing again. “We had a long preseason. We’ve been working super, super hard, and I’m just really proud of everyone.”
She mentioned the team experiencing first-game jitters, but she certainly didn’t show them. Her goal came in the first 10 minutes of the match, putting the Cavaliers up quickly.
Only five players in UVa women’s soccer history finished their careers with at least 40 goals. Ordonez, just a second-year performer, is up to 16 goals in her first 20 career games. Assuming she doesn’t leave school early to play professionally, she’s on pace to become the sixth Cavalier to accomplish the feat.
UVa is undefeated in its past 20 matches when Laurel Ivory is fully healthy. The goalkeeper missed the end of the ACC Championship Game and the NCAA Tournament a season ago with a broken jaw.
With Ivory healthy, the Cavaliers haven’t lost since 2018.
She returned to action Saturday for the first time since her injury and performed well. The Cavaliers controlled possession for most of the night, but Ivory’s only goal allowed game on a penalty kick. She directed the defense well and looked comfortable the few times the Hokies put the ball near the net.
Ordonez, Alexa Spaanstra and Rebecca Jarrett are among the Cavaliers who draw the most attention from defenses. They are experienced performers with impressive quickness and speed.
While those three looked the part of All-ACC caliber players Saturday, two freshmen caught the eye of everyone watching.
“I thought the two first years, Lia Godfrey and Samar Guidry, played very well for their first games,” Swanson said.
Guidry assisted on Ordonez’s opening goal, and she looked comfortable all night. She flowed well within UVa’s system despite playing in her first game.
Godfrey flashed tremendous speed, scoring her first career goal in the second half as she raced down the middle of the field to catch up to a pass. Once she did, she knocked it by the goalkeeper to put UVa up 3-0.
Both players figure to see consistent minutes this fall.
For a team that reached No. 1 in the country last season, adding a few reliable first-year players makes the Cavaliers even more dangerous.
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