Virginia’s women’s football ranked 4th in the 2021 preseason poll



The Virginia women’s soccer team faces another fantastic season, ranking # 4 on United Soccer Coaches’ preseason poll. The Cavaliers fell on penalties in the NCAA semifinals last season against ACC rivals Florida State, but head coach Steve Swanson gives almost all of the key pieces back.

Florida State landed # 1 on the poll, followed by reigning NCAA champions Santa Clara and North Carolina at # 2 and 3, respectively. The top four this season were the teams that made up the College Cup in May. Virginia took first place in the poll.

The Cavaliers start their season next week with two exhibition games in Michigan. Virginia will play against Central Michigan on August 11th at 3pm, followed by a game against the University of Michigan on the 14th at noon. The regular season begins on August 19th in Charlottesville with a home game against Richmond at 7pm.

Virginia returns goalkeeper Laurel Ivory as she takes advantage of the extra year COVID offers. Ivory is one of the best goalkeepers in the country and is looking for further depth in the tournament. The Cavaliers return 95% of their goals (38 of 40 goals) from last season, led by Diana Ordonez (12 goals) and Alexa Spaanstra (10 goals). Electric fourth grader Rebecca Jarrett (four goals, three assists) joins the strikers.

ACC Freshman of the Year Lia Godfrey scored four goals and nine assists in her debut season, and she is assisted in midfield by Taryn Torres, Sydney Zandi and Emma Dawson. Defensively, the Hoos bring back Claire Constant, Samar Guidry, Talia Staude and Lizzy Sieracki to hold the defensive line.

Transfers Sarah Clark (Purdue) and Haley Hopkins (Vanderbilt) bring experience to the roster, and Virginia brings in six new first years.

Virginia has made the College Cup five times since 2011 and the championship game once (2014), but has yet to overcome the hurdle of winning an NCAA title. The experience and skill that the Hoos return means that expectations in Charlottesville are once again high.


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