For the third game in a row, the third-ranked Virginia women's soccer team scored a shutout win, beating Villanova 5-0 at at Klöckner Stadium on Saturday.
Junior forwards Makenzy Doniak and Brittany Ratcliffe each scored in the second half, with Doniak scoring twice and Ratcliffe once. Junior Kaili Torres and first-year Veronica Latsko also scored for the Cavaliers, who have outscored opponents 12-0 this season.
"We're slowly but surely improving, and we're slowly but surely getting looks at players in a game environment," head coach Steve Swanson said after the game. "I think you need that as you push forward into the middle stages of your season, and the latter stages of your season."
"Offensively we're getting a lot of chances, but we're only finishing a few of them," added Torres. "I think when we get against teams that come with high pressure who are going to come out at us, can we move the ball? Can we still get it in? Can we still get those number of chances and finish more?"
UVa jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a score from Torres in the 27th minute, on an assist from Alexis Shaffer. Three minutes later, Latsko fired a shot that the keeper slowed but couldn’t keep from dribbling over the line for Latsko’s first collegiate goal.
In the second half, Doniak and Ratcliffe teamed up for three goals in a 15-minute span. Less than three minutes after halftime, Doniak made the score 3-0 with an assist from Ratcliffe, sending a ball just under the crossbar for her second goal of the season. In the 56th minute, she scored again on a breakaway. Ratcliffe also scored on a breakaway in the 63rd minute to make it 5-0.
Overall, UVa outshot Villanova 27-0 and had a 12-0 corner kick advantage. Sophomore Morgan Stearns played the whole 90 minutes in goal to record her 10th career shutout.
"I think today we played probably our best soccer," said Doniak. "We put five goals away which is great. Being able to finish especially against teams down the road is going to be very important."
Next up, the Cavaliers go on the road for the first time this season, playing at Alabama Friday night. Game time in Tuscaloosa is 8 p.m. ET.