It has been quite a week for the Virginia women’s soccer program.
On Wednesday, the Cavaliers found out that they would be without one of their best players for the remainder of the year, as senior forward Rebecca Jarrett got season-ending knee surgery.
The next night, UVA hosted No. 14 Penn State and allowed four goals in a 4-2 loss to the Nittany Lions for Virginia’s first loss of the season.
On Sunday, the Hoos were in desperate need of a positive outcome as they welcomed a solid Oklahoma team to Klockner Stadium. The Sooners gave the Cavaliers all they could handle, but behind goals from Lia Godfrey and Alexa Spaanstra, UVA prevailed 2-1.
Virginia struck first on a goal from Godfrey in the 29th minute. Alexa Spaanstra dribbled through the defense before passing to Godfrey who put the ball in the back of the net to give UVA the lead.
The Cavalier defense was perfect in the first half as the Sooners did not attempt a single shot through the first 45 minutes of the game. Virginia, by contrast, attempted 10 shots with five of them going on goal. Oklahoma goalkeeper Nikki Panas made seven saves on nine shots on goal faced during the match, including several quality attempts from the Cavaliers that could have made this a much less interesting game. UVA outshot Oklahoma 21-6 in the match.
Less than two minutes into the second half, the Sooners got an equalizer on a goal by Bri Amos. Oklahoma crossed it in on a corner kick and the ball pinballed around hitting multiple players on each team before Alexis Strickland headed it towards Bri Amos who got a chest touch on it to send the ball into the goal and tie the game.
In the 54th minute, Alexa Spaanstra was fouled in the box and converted the subsequent penalty kick for the game-winning goal.
Oklahoma had a few chances for another equalizer in the final minutes of the game, including a one-on-one opportunity in the 86th minute that produced a shot that went just wide.
Virginia held on to win and improve to 7-1 on the season. Next, the Cavaliers begin conference play with a trip to Winston-Salem to face Wake forest on Friday.