10 Virginia Women’s Athletes To Watch This Fall

Alexa Spaanstra returns for the Virginia women’s soccer team. ~ Photo by Kris Wright/TheSabre.com

The fall season for Virginia athletics is finally here. The women’s soccer team opens the official competition year for UVA on Thursday night at Klockner Stadium.

With college sports roaring back to life, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the athletes that will be in action for the Cavaliers. This list highlights 10 women expected to make a big impact for the Hoos.

There’s no particular order. Who didn’t make this list? Share your thoughts and predictions with us for the fall season on the message boards or in the comments below.

1. Margot Appleton – Cross Country

In just her first semester of college last fall, Margot Appleton led the cross country team in three of the five races in which she competed, including both postseason races. Her runner-up finish at the XC23 Invitational earned her ACC Co-Freshman Of The Week honors. Appleton finished 26th in the Southeast Regional Championship to narrowly miss all-region honors. Her success continued into the track season where she was a member of the school record-setting Distance Medley Relay, which finished seventh at NCAAs to earn All-American honors. Virginia is the host for this year’s ACC Championships in cross country, so Appleton will be looking to provide young leadership on a strong Virginia contingent at Panorama Farms.

2. Mia Barnett – Cross Country

Mia Barnett, another UVA freshman last fall, started off her collegiate career with a win at 5,000 meters in the Virginia Invitational and she came across the line sixth in the XC23 Invitational held at Virginia. She did not have her best races at the ACC and NCAA Southeast Regional Championships; however, she lit up the track in the mile and 1,500-meter races during the winter and spring seasons. Barnett made the NCAA final indoors in the mile and was on the U-20 World Championship team this summer for the 1,500-meter event. Alongside Appleton, Barnett will look to carry her momentum from the track season into cross country and help lead the team to a high finish at the ACC Championships and Southeast Regionals.

3. Rebecca Jarrett – Women’s Soccer

Soccer fans are excited and eager for the return of Rebecca Jarrett after a season-ending injury in early September 2021. At the time of her knee injury, Jarrett led Virginia in points with 3 goals and 3 assists in just four games. Jarrett will provide leadership as a fifth-year returner with multiple All-ACC and All-Region team selections. Playing as a forward, Jarrett has seemingly unmatched speed, which allows her to break away from defenders with ease. UVA players and fans alike are excited to see her return and help lead a stacked roster. Cavalier coach Steve Swanson announced Jarrett as one of the team captains for the 2022 season.

4. Alexa Spaanstra – Women’s Soccer

Alexa Spaanstra has been dominant since her freshman season in 2018. As a fifth year, she has been named to the preseason All-ACC team and is ranked seventh in UVA history with 29 assists. Spaanstra has earned All-ACC honors in all four seasons with the Hoos and has been named All-Region three times. Like Jarrett, Spaanstra’s speed down the field sets her apart as she was a successful track and field athlete while attending high school in Michigan. Spaanstra will be relied upon by her teammates to help fill the scoring hole left by Diana Ordoñez, who is now playing professionally. In the final exhibition match of the summer against Michigan, Spaanstra scored the lone goal for UVA in a 1-1 draw.

5. Lia Godfrey – Women’s Soccer

Few players have had as much success in two years as Virginia junior midfielder Lia Godfrey. She is a two-time All-American and received her second straight all-conference honor after being selected to the All-ACC first team this past fall. Godfrey led the team in 2021 with 12 assists and was recently placed on the preseason All-ACC team for 2022. The Florida native had a game-winning goal last season against Santa Clara. The UVA coaching staff will look to her as a consistent force on the field this season. The Hoos are currently ranked fourth in the NCAA and second in the ACC.

6. Veresia Yon – Volleyball

Back in April, Cavalier coach Shannon Wells announced the transfer of graduate student Veresia Yon. The middle blocker comes from the University of West Florida, a Division II program, where she repeatedly made history and broke records. Yon is a Division II First Team All-American and was named the Player of the Year for her region. She holds the UWF program record in hitting percentage (.394) and was fourth in career blocks (299). The latter stat is the most impressive because she did so in just two seasons with the Argonauts. The UVA volleyball team is hoping to rebound after a disappointing run in the second half of the 2021 fall season. Although Yon is new to the program, the coaching staff will be looking to her to make an immediate impact.

7. GG Carvacho – Volleyball

Another exciting transfer who will look to have an immediate impact on the Virginia volleyball program is GG Carvacho. She transferred in January from Ole Miss where she had an impressive freshman campaign in 2020. Carvacho, now a junior, is listed at 6’3”, making her one of the tallest women on the team. While at Ole Miss, Carvacho was named SEC Freshman of the Week after recording a career-high 20 kills against Missouri, who was ranked eighth nationally at the time. She has known Coach Wells since she was 14 years old and has international experience playing for Chile. Carvacho will hopefully raise the expectations for the Hoos as she has experience playing for an NCAA Tournament team.

Adele Iacobucci provides veteran presence for UVA field hockey.  ~ Photo courtesy of Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

8. Adele Iacobucci – Field Hockey

Cavalier senior Adele Iacobucci has received countless All-ACC team and weekly honors as well as two spots on the NFHCA All-South Region First team in her career. The Pennsylvania native was named to the USA Field Hockey team after a dominant sophomore campaign in Charlottesville. In 2020, she was named to the ACC All-Tournament team and finished the season eighth in the ACC for goals per game (0.39). In 2021, Iacobucci scored the game-winner against William & Mary and the game-tying goal against Penn State. The midfielder will provide leadership to a young team looking to make a late return to the NCAA Tournament.

9. Annie McDonough – Field Hockey

Annie McDonough is one of just two graduate students on the UVA field hockey team this coming fall season. She has been a consistent starter for the Cavaliers since her freshman season in 2018 and has four game-winning goals to her name. The 2021 co-captain was named to the All-ACC Second Team this past fall to mark her first conference postseason honor. McDonough, a midfielder from Pennsylvania, will use her experience in high-stakes postseason games to guide the young Virginia field hockey team along with Iacobucci.

10. Danielle Husar – Field Hockey

This Spring, Danielle Husar was selected to Team Canada for the FIH Junior World Cup. She also won a gold medal with Team Canada at the Junior Pan American Cup in August 2021. Husar’s first goal at Virginia came in the 2021 season and it served as the game winner against Syracuse. While her list of accolades in orange and blue is not as long as some other teammates, she has played a regular role for the Hoos and continues to gain experience in international play.

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