Radford Women’s Soccer Falls to Virginia 3-0

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By: Zach Potter | zpotter2@radford.edu

Radford’s Women’s Soccer team fought hard last Saturday in Charlottesville but fell 3-0 to the third-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Highlanders walked into the match as heavy underdogs against the Cavaliers. Virginia had been ranked first for most of the year but fell to third after a defeat in the ACC Championship game.

The Cavaliers started the game by putting pressure on the Highlander defense. Radford goalie Courtenay Kaplan had to make three early saves to keep the game tied.

Radford’s defense allowed the Cavaliers to slip through. In the 23rd minute, Sydney Zandi was able to put Virginia up 1-0. Zandi’s shot was a long one taken from just outside the 18-yard box.

Virginia would add another goal just 10 minutes later, doubling their lead to 2-0. This lead would last and send the game into halftime with a comfortable lead.

Radford, a team with usually great attacking, was held to just one shot in the first half. Virginia had 17 shots at the break.

The Cavaliers would continue their attacking ways at the start of the second half scoring in the 57th minute.

Nelia Perez would have a breakaway and took a one-on-one shot with the Virginia keeper in hopes of cutting the lead down. However, her shot was saved by the keeper.

The Highlanders shot the ball four more times in the second half. They still had trouble controlling the Cavalier’s attack as Virginia shot 17 shots again in the second half.

Radford’s effort to advance to the next round of the tournament ended at the final whistle with a loss of 3-0. Virginia proved to be too much for the Highlanders to handle as they controlled the ball for 80 percent of the game.

Despite the loss, the Highlanders have made a lot of accomplishments to be proud of this season. It marks Radford’s second straight record-tying season with 16 wins. Radford also achieved back-to-back conference tournament championships, an impressive feat as well.

Head Coach Ben Sohrabi said after the match, “It’s been a special year, and I’m proud of what this team has accomplished. Radford University should be proud of this group.”

If you liked this article, check out Women’s Soccer: Highlanders Named Big South Champions on The Tartan.

Photo Credit: (Bob Donnan on Radford Athletics)

Featured Image: Nelia Perez