#7 Virginia Women's Soccer 2013 Preview

Virginia Cavaliers

Overall Rank: #7
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
#7 Virginia Women's Soccer 2013 Preview
Virginia Team Page


Virginia returns this fall to defend their ACC Conference Tournament Championship and another run to the Sweet 16. The Cavaliers have been one of the more consistent programs in the nation as they have been on a run in the NCAA Tournament of consecutive Sweet 16s or deeper over the past seven years. Virginia has to replace Caroline Miller, one of the more electric goal scorers from 2012, but they should be deep enough to find a way to replace her 20 goals from a group of highly talented forwards.

2012 Record: 18-5-1, 6-3-1
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Steve Swanson

The explosive offensive possession oriented attack is a staple of strength for the Virginia Women’s soccer program. Sophomore Forward Makenzy Doniak had 10 goals in a stellar freshman campaign. Junior Morgan Brian should have a big season as well scoring goals as she will have less U.S. National Team related responsibilities. Brian was recently called up for full National Team duty in June for a couple of international friendlies. She also was the top freshman in the country in 2011. The combination of Brian and Doniak should be able to pick up the slack for the graduated Caroline Miller, who tallied 20 goals in 2012 and was drafted by the NWSL’s Washington Spirit. The home field advantage at Klockner Stadium is another strength for this program. The Cavaliers have one of the better supported fan bases that has steadily grown in the past few seasons. The Cavaliers averaged roughly 1,100 fans per match in 2012. Danielle Delisle will need to repeat her strong first season in goal as the full-time starter for the Cavaliers. Delisle had 14 wins in 2012 and had six shutouts as well.
The defense was good last season containing opponents, minus a couple isolated matches against Penn State and Duke in the Sweet 16. The key for the Cavaliers in 2013 when they get deep into ACC play and the NCAA Tournament is to avoid giving up the first goal and having to play from behind and take themselves out of their possession style of play. Michigan State transfer, Annie Steinlage, will go a long way in addressing this issue on the backline. The two time First-Team All-Big Ten selection and her senior leadership and experience should be a huge addition for Coach Swanson this fall. 

Final Projection:
The Cavaliers will play a typically tough non-conference schedule. The key matchups are home games against Santa Clara in the Klockner Classic and against Penn State. The conference adds Notre Dame in 2013 so the best conference in all of women’s soccer just got stronger. The conference schedule is pretty balanced for Virginia overall. Notre Dame comes to Charlottesville on October 10th and Florida State comes to Charlottesville on October 27th.The road schedule will have tests down on Tobacco Road with a rematch against Duke early on to avenge last year’s Sweet 16 loss to the Blue Devils. Virginia will also travel to Chapel Hill before a season ending three game homestand. The Cavaliers have found recent success in Chapel Hill as they knocked out the Tar Heels in the quarterfinals of the 2012 ACC Tournament. Overall, if Brian and Doniak can carry things offensively and the defense avoids the tough two or three goals allowed performance, the Cavaliers should be knocking on the door of a run towards the College Cup in December.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Makenzy Doniak, Sophomore, Forward, 10
Assists: Danielle Colaprico, Junior, Forward/Midfielder, 9
Shots: Makenzy Doniak, Sophomore, Forward, 74
Saves: Danielle DeLisle, Senior, Goalkeeper, 50

Madness 2014 NWSL Draft Rankings:
#18 Annie Steinlage

Madness 2013 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#20 Alexis Shaffer
#21 Morgan Stearns


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