The No. 8 Virginia women’s soccer team recorded its second consecutive shutout victory, downing Liberty 3-0 Wednesday night at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers (2-1) scored early and late in the first half and once in the second half to hand the Flames (1-2) their second straight defeat.
Freshman Makenzy Doniak had two goals to lead Virginia, as she has scored in each of her first three career games. Senior All-American Caroline Miller added a goal and an assist on the evening.
“It was a good performance and result for us,” said assistant coach Ron Raab. “It was nice to get a goal early as it changed the complexion of the game and allowed us to take control. We possessed the ball well and picked our times to go forward and create chances. It would have been nice to finish a few more of them, but we scored three nice goals tonight.”
Virginia wasted little time taking the lead, scoring just 87 seconds into the game. Olivia Brannon threaded a through ball to Miller, who scored on the breakaway for her first goal of the season. The Cavaliers had a chance to double the lead in the 28th minute after Kate Norbo was taken down in the box, but Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker saved Julia Roberts’ penalty kick to keep it a 1-0 game.
The Cavaliers struck again just before halftime, finding the back of the net with six seconds remaining. Morgan Stith recorded her first career assist as she sent a long ball into the box that was headed in by Doniak.
Doniak added another goal in the 50th minute to post her first career multi-goal game. Goalkeeper Danielle DeLisle sent a long ball forward that Miller flicked on to give Doniak a breakaway. She took the ball and dribbled around the charging goalkeeper and slotted home her fourth goal of the season.
Virginia outshot Liberty 19-1 in the contest and had a 6-1 corner kick edge. Churchill O’Connell made her first career start in goal and played the first half and combined with DeLisle, who played the second half, to record the shutout. Blocker made five saves in goal for the Flames.
The Cavaliers conclude their season-opening four-game homestand on Sunday as they host UNC Wilmington. Game time at Klöckner Stadium is set for 2 p.m.