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Morgan Brian heads home a winner to lift the Cavaliers over the Irish in their first ACC meeting.
Ryan M. Kelly | The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress
Virginia's Danielle Colaprico (right) slides to pass the ball in front of Notre Dame defender Katie Naughton (left) on Thursday at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Morgan Brian scored on a header following a teammate’s corner kick in the second sudden-death overtime to lift No. 1-ranked Virginia to a 3-2 victory over No. 5 Notre Dame in a women’s soccer match Thursday night at Klockner Stadium.
Brian’s goal, her ninth of the season, was set up by Danielle Colaprico’s corner kick in the second minute of the second overtime. The assist was Colaprico’s second of the evening.
The largest crowd in Klockner Stadium women’s soccer history — 2,838 — braved steady and at times heavy rain to watch this intriguing battle of elite teams.
Elizabeth Tucker’s second goal of the evening, scored from the doorstep following a long entry pass in a 73rd-minute scramble, knotted the game for the second time for the Irish. The Cavaliers (13-0, 7-0 ACC) broke a 1-1 halftime tie — or rather, had it broken for them — on an Irish own goal in the fourth minute of the second half.
Molly Menchel, prowling on the left wing, aimed a crossing pass at Brian, who was waiting near the left-hand goal post. Brian, the Cavaliers’ leading scorer, rose to meet the pass. Her defender rose higher. The ball struck the defender and caromed past Notre Dame goalkeeper Kaela Little. It slipped just inside the post.
The match was historic on the one hand and routine on the other. It was the first head-to-head encounter between teams from Virginia and Notre Dame since the Irish joined the ACC prior to the 2013-14 school year for all sports other than football and ice hockey.
Even so, Thursday’s foes knew each other well. Notre Dame and Virginia played preseason friendlies eight consecutive years (2005-12) before the disintegration of the Big East nudged the Irish toward the ACC.
The first half was dominated by the weather and Virginia’s elegant offense. The Cavaliers, faster, more clever and more assertive than their visitors from Indiana, manufactured one promising opportunity after another. Three saves by Little and a cluster of near-misses by UVa turned what could have been a runaway into a taut, if soggy, contest.
Virginia scored almost immediately. Senior forward Gloria Douglas, rushing in unchecked from the right side, met Colaprico’s long crossing pass from the left wing and headed the ball past Little in the fourth minute.
Notre Dame (9-3-1, 5-2-1) seemed to sense its best strategy was to hold onto the ball, thereby keeping Virginia’s weapons holstered. The Irish took five first-half shots, but created only one good opportunity. They made it count. Tucker swooped in to pounce on a rebound in the 24th minute. Her shot from the doorstep enabled Notre Dame to carry an improbable 1-1 draw into the dressing room at intermission.
The Cavaliers threatened repeatedly in the final minutes of the half. Little stopped but couldn’t control Brian’s blast in the 45th minute. An alert Notre Dame defender dropped back to clear the ball away from the goal line.
Virginia, which played 10 of its first 13 matches in Charlottesville, now ventures onto Tobacco Road for a three-game road trip that includes dates with No. 11-ranked Wake Forest (Sunday at 1 p.m.) and No. 6-ranked North Carolina (Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.).
Brian and North Carolina midfielder Crystal Dunn will miss the Oct. 20 game while on duty with the U.S. Women’s National Team.
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