Virginia Women’s Teams Start Seasons With Road Wins

Haley Hopkins celebrates a goal during a big week for Virginia. ~ Photo courtesy of Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

Classes have commenced and fall sports are in full swing in Charlottesville. This weekend, the women of Virginia athletics faced multiple nationally ranked programs and walked away with solid wins and good early season momentum.

The UVA women’s soccer team extended its undefeated season with two wins this weekend against No. 11 Georgetown and Farleigh Dickinson. The goalkeeping team of seniors Cayla White and Michaela Moran as well as sophomore Ally Reynolds have allowed one goal in four games thus far this season. On Thursday, White was able to shut out a strong Georgetown team helping her teammates capture the 1-0 victory. The sole goal of the game came from graduate student Haley Hopkins off an assist from freshman Maggie Cagle.

On Sunday, the Hoos had a dominant performance at home against Farleigh Dickinson to win 5-0. Hopkins put on a show with a hat trick in just 32 minutes of action. The other 2 goals came from juniors Lia Godfrey and Laney Rouse, who returned to the lineup on Thursday after playing for the US U-20 National Team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Costa Rica. Hopkins earned ACC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Due to the early lead in the game, the coaching staff was able to cycle through the roster and give 25 Hoos playing time in Sunday’s victory. This playing time helps build depth on the roster and prepare the team for situations where back-ups may be relied upon later in the season.

The team will host two home games at Klockner Stadium this week. The Hoos host JMU on Thursday and No. 23 Memphis on Sunday. The UVA women moved up to No. 5 in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll.

The Virginia Field hockey team split its games this weekend, losing 3-2 at No. 11 Penn State on Friday and winning 4-1 at No. 17 Delaware on Sunday. Friday’s game was tied 1-1 going into the fourth quarter. The first goal of the game came in the second quarter from UVA sophomore Jans Croon. This marked her first collegiate goal. Laura Janssen put the Cavaliers up 2-1 in the fourth before PSU was able to knock in 2 goals to steal the W. Freshman Dani Mendez-Trendler and graduate student Lindsay Dickinson made their first assists as Cavaliers for Croon’s goal. The star of the game was sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Kennedy, who made 8 saves and kept the Hoos in contention against a strong Penn State offense.

Delaware struck first on Sunday with a goal in the second quarter, but this time Virginia was the team with a winning rally. Mendez-Trendler quickly responded with her first collegiate goal. Sophomore Taryn Tkachuk put the Hoos up 2-1 in the second half off an assist from junior Meghen Hengerer. Janssen scored the third and fourth goals off of penalty corners with assists from Croon. The coaching staff was able to rotate 22 players onto the field during the game.

The team returns to action at home this weekend with games against Temple on Friday and James Madison on Sunday.

The Cavalier volleyball team started its season off strong at the Gators Invitational, earning runner-up honors to No. 15 Florida. The Hoos started the weekend with a win over East Tennessee State in four sets (25-21, 25-14, 15-25, 25-21). Junior Madison Morey, the team’s libero, posted 26 digs. That serves as a career best and the most from a Hoo since the 2018 season. Sophomore Abby Tadder also set a career high with 14 kills and sophomore Ashley Le had a team-high 28 assists.

Virginia returned the next day with a three-set sweep against North Florida (25-23, 25-21, 25-22). Senior Jayna Francis had 13 kills and no errors. Junior Chloe Wilson and Tadder put up strong showings with 10 and 8 kills, respectively. In the first set, the Hoos and UNF traded leads repeatedly until Francis knocked down 2 consecutive kills to win the set. A 9-point run led by graduate student Grace Turner behind the service line gave the Hoos much-needed momentum when they were trailing in the second set. Francis sealed the match with back-to-back kills in the third set. The weekend ended with a loss in three sets to Florida (25-11, 25-7, 25-18). The Gators used multiple scoring runs to separate from the Hoos in each set.

Francis and Tadder were named to the All-Tournament team. UVA volleyball heads to Cincinnati this weekend where it will face Xavier, Purdue Fort Wayne, and Eastern Michigan in the Xavier Tournament.

The cross country team, the last Virginia women’s sports program to start its schedule this fall, will make its season debut this Saturday at the Spider Alumni Open in Richmond.