Hosting their bracket of the NCAA tournament, Virginia made it through to the Elite Eight with two 2-0 wins – over UNC-Wilmington and Southern Cal – that weren’t as close as the box score might indicate.
It was a cold and windy night, and the fearsome Makenzy stalked the plains of the Soccerplex.
“Doniak, in the first half, gave us the runaround,” said head coach Mark Parsons when asked what made the difference between last week’s win and this week’s loss.
While she didn’t score, the stellar UVA forward set up the goal with a strong run down the right side in the 35th minute. She got past flank defender Estelle Johnson and sent in a cross that was either muffed or dummied by Kristen McNabb, then was put away from close range by Alexis Shaffer.
Virginia senior defender Molly Menchel and freshman goalkeeper Morgan Stearns are happy with their ACC first-round victory but look for more
Going into the match, I thought the key was whether or not Maryland could put a ball in the net against the #1 Virginia Cavaliers. The Terrapins have frequently struggled to score this year, while the home team hadn’t allowed a goal in 568 minutes despite playing North Carolina, Florida State, and Virginia Tech – all top ten teams – in that interval.
So when just over four minutes in Maryland forward Hayley Brock scored a spectacular unassisted goal, looping the ball over a defender and goalkeeper Morgan Stearns from a sharp angle on the right, I thought it was “game on.” In retrospect, though, it seemed like that was the worst thing that could have happened for the visitors. After an initial rush of enthusiasm following the goal, all the drive seemed to fall out of the team.