The defending ACC Champion Virginia women's soccer team is sending notice through the first weekend of the season that the Cavaliers are primed to challenge in 2013.
The No. 7 Cavaliers posted their first ranked victory of the season with a 4-0 win over No. 9 Santa Clara on Sunday. With the win, the Cavaliers won the Klöckner Classic, a tournament that featured three of the top 10 teams in the nation.
Sophomore forward Brittany Ratcliffe scored twice to record her first career multi-goal game for the Cavaliers. Junior midfielder Morgan Brian and sophomore forward Makenzy Doniak each had a goal and an assist as Virginia found the back of the net four times for the second straight game.
“I was really happy with our mentality today,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “After the Friday game, sometimes it is tough to get ready to come back again on Sunday. I thought our team played really hard and played some very attractive soccer. We had a few chances to go up 2-0 in the first half and it is always scary to let a team as good as Santa Clara stay in the game, but our second half was even better. We played with a great intensity for the whole 90 minutes.”
Virginia (2-0) completely dominated the first half, outshooting the Broncos 10-0, and took a 1-0 lead into intermission. The goal came in the 32nd minute as a Doniak cross found Ratcliffe alone at the far post and she tapped it in to give the Cavaliers the lead.
The UVa advantage was doubled in the 52nd minute as Doniak was on a breakaway when she was tripped by Santa Clara goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski. She converted the ensuing penalty kick for her first goal of the season. Brian made the score 3-0 in the 61st minute when she collected a ball near the top of the box and fired a low shot inside the near post for her first goal of the season. Ratcliffe closed out the scoring in the 79th minute as she scored on a breakaway after a through-ball from Brian. It was Ratcliffe’s third goal of the season.
The final goal also gave Virginia the Klöckner Classic title, surpassing top-ranked North Carolina, who also defeated both Santa Clara and VCU on the weekend. The Cavaliers and Tar Heels tied with a +6 goal differential on the weekend, but Virginia won the title on total goals scored (8 to 6).
With a goal and three assists on the weekend, Brian was named the Klöckner Classic MVP. Joining Brian on the All-Tournament Team for the Cavaliers were Ratcliffe, senior midfielder Annie Steinlage and sophomore defender Emily Sonnett.