Second Half Heroics Lead To Big Wins For Cardiac Cavaliers

We are about a month into the athletic calendar and the Hoos are entering the heart of ACC action with plenty of momentum. All four Virginia women’s programs came home with victories this weekend to continue a promising start to the fall season. Let’s check in on the start of the year with the Wahoos. 

Virginia Women’s Soccer

Forget saving the best for last! We are diving right in with one of the most impressive comebacks in UVA athletics history and that is not an over-exaggeration. The No. 7 women’s team defeated the No. 2 UNC Tar Heels in a 3-2 road victory. The game started horribly for the Hoos as the Tar Heels jumped to a 2-0 lead before the half. The women used the break to reset and come back strong with a dominant performance in the second half. Rebecca Jarrett got the Hoos on the board first with an unassisted goal in the 54th minute. Seven minutes later, Alexa Spaanstra found the net with a header on the assist from Lacey McCormack. The game-winning goal came in the 72nd minute off the foot of Lia Godfrey with an assist from Maggie Cagle, who leads the ACC in assists. 

This win lit up the record books as it served as the most goals Virginia has ever scored against UNC as well as the most goals scored against Carolina by any opponent in 12 years. It is the only time a team has come from being behind by two goals to beat UNC in regulation. Spaanstra is the ACC leader for career assists and career points for currently active players. She sits in second for all-time goals (32) and Jarrett is fourth despite missing the majority of last season. Godfrey is No. 3 in career assists for currently active players.

The Hoos (8-0-1) are one of three undefeated teams in the ACC with Florida State (5-0-2) and Wake Forest (6-0-2) being the other two. UVA will travel this week to play at No. 6 Notre Dame on Thursday at 7 p.m.  

UVA Field Hockey

The No. 9 Field Hockey team suffered a tough 2-1 loss on Friday to No. 21 Boston College in the ACC opener. The Eagles led 1-0 at halftime after a goal in the first quarter off a penalty corner. They increased the lead to 2-0 less than a minute into the second half. Sophomore Noa Boterman scored the Hoos’ lone goal on a penalty corner at the end of the third quarter. UVA outshot BC 8-7, but missed multiple opportunities early in the game.

The Hoos rallied after the tough loss to beat No. 13 Saint Joseph’s 3-2 on Sunday at home. The Hawks scored first with a goal in the first quarter off a second-chance goal by Celeste Smits. The next goal came from Hailey Bitters of Saint Joseph’s in the third quarter. The Hoos responded with two goals of their own in the third quarter from freshman Dani Mendez-Trendler and senior Laura Janssen. Mendez-Trendler’s goal came off a penalty corner while Janssen’s came off a shot from sophomore Taryn Tkachuk. Senior Adele Iacobucci scored the game-winning goal in the fourth quarter off a corner from sophomore Jans Croon. Freshman Jet Trimborn made her first career start in goal and made one save.

Virginia returns to action on Friday against No. 10 Syracuse. The game will be held at home at 4 p.m. 

UVA Cross Country

The Virginia women’s cross country team defended its home course well with a win at Panorama Farms. The Hoos secured a narrow victory with 30 points over Duke’s 34 points. Miami finished third with 70 followed by Pittsburgh (102) and Norfolk State (146). The team was led yet again by sophomore Margot Appleton and junior transfer student Camryn Menninger, who crossed the line in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Sophomore Anna Workman, junior Esther Seeland, and sophomore Sophie Atkinson wrapped up the scoring finishing 5th, 7th, and 13th respectively. Duke’s Amina Maatoug won the race 13 seconds ahead of Appleton with a time of 16:57 for the 5k course. Appleton won the Spider Alumni Open to start the season.

The Hoos return to action on Friday, Sept. 23 when they will race the Battle in Beantown hosted by Boston College.

Virginia Volleyball

The Virginia volleyball team had an action-packed weekend with three matches at home in Memorial Gymnasium. The Wahoos ended the weekend with wins over East Carolina (3-1) and Mercer (3-2) and a loss to Maryland (3-0).

In the win over East Carolina, the Hoos hit .314 and had 63 kills. Junior Chloe Wilson had 15 kills and graduate student Grace Turner had 12 kills and 10 digs. UVA had to go to battle in order to walk away with the win against Mercer. The Hoos won the first set 25-21, but the Bears came back with a dominant showing of 25-12 to take the second set. They traded the next two sets as well with Virginia taking the third 25-17 and Mercer getting the fourth set 25-21. The Hoos started the fourth set with intensity and three aces from graduate student Gabby Easton and sophomore Ashley Le. They held on to take the set and won the match with a 15-12 final frame. In the final match of the weekend, the Hoos lost in straight sets to the Terrapins. The sets were deceptively close (19-25, 20-25, 21-25), especially in the final set. The score was tied 10 times in the third set, but the Terrapins were able to pull away late and secure the game-winning set. 

Despite the loss to Maryland, Virginia is off to its best start since 2004 at 8-3. Turner and Wilson were named to the weekend’s all-tournament team. The Hoos begin ACC play on Friday against NC State (7 p.m.) and return to action against UNC on Sunday (1 p.m.). Both games will be held at Memorial Gymnasium. 

Remember to tune in to our Instagram stories as we highlight our women’s sports MVPs and spotlight women’s sports on Thursdays.