On paper, the Virginia-Georgetown NCAA Tournament second round matchup had the makings of a high-scoring affair. The Cavaliers lead the nation in scoring while the Hoyas are third.
That notion was soundly shot down as Virginia advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 1-0 win Friday at Klöckner Stadium.
Junior midfielder Morgan Brian’s goal in the 33rd minute was all the Cavaliers needed to reach the round of the 16 for the ninth consecutive season.
The Cavaliers (22-1) will meet ACC rival Wake Forest in the third round on Sunday. The Demon Deacons topped Penn State 1-0 in the first game of the day in Charlottesville.
“It was a difficult game as they were very committed to defending,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “They did a good job of condensing the field and not giving us a lot of chances, which limited their attack. I thought we showed patience and made good decisions. They are a good team and we had to be sharp to get chances against them.”
Virginia controlled play from the outset, but didn’t take the lead until the 33rd minute of play. Brian threaded a ball behind the defense to first-year midfielder Alexis Shaffer. Shaffer got to the ball just before the end line and sent a ball back to the top of the box to Brian, who one-timed in her 14th goal of the season. The Cavaliers took the 1-0 lead into halftime having outshot the Hoyas 7-0.
A second goal never came, but Brian’s strike was enough as the Virginia defense posted its 15th shutout of the season, tying the school record set in 2007.
“We had some good looks early in the second half,” said Swanson. “Maybe if we get that one that hit the crossbar, maybe it is a different game. Maybe they have to come out and play a little more. But we didn’t get the second one and it gave them a chance to give it a go in the final 10 minutes. We did a good job of making good decisions defensively tonight.”
Overall, Virginia outshot Georgetown 15-1, with the Hoyas only shot a blocked attempt in the 86th minute.
Sunday’s Virginia-Wake Forest game will kick off at Klöckner Stadium at 5 p.m. Earlier in the day, the Virginia men’s soccer team will host St. John’s in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament at 1 p.m.
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