CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Over the past eight seasons, no women's soccer program in the country has scored more goals than Virginia. Heading into Friday night's season opener against UC Irvine at Klöckner Stadium, the Wahoos believe that trend will continue -- in a variety of ways.
"When another team can read your lines -- read your midfield line, read your forward line -- it's pretty easy for them to defend. But we have changed it up every single game thus far with personnel positioning," said UVA senior forward Meghan McCool. "So it's going to be pretty difficult to predict how we're going to play. Sometimes I don't even know how we're going to play. So I think that's what's super exciting."
McCool finished last season tied for the team lead with nine goals, and second on the Cavaliers with 19 points. Along with sophomores Alexa Spaanstra (nine goals, 24 points) and Rebecca Jarrett (six goals, 14 points), the Wahoos will have the top three scorers back from last year's team, which finished eighth nationally with 52 goals scored.
UVA put up 2.36 goals per game last year, the eighth time in the last nine seasons that they've averaged at least two goals per game. In total, the Wahoos have seven of their top 10 scorers and nine starters -- including junior goalkeeper Laurel Ivory -- back for this season. They also added freshman forward Diana Ordonez, an early enrollee who played for the USA National Team two years ago, and spent last year with FC Dallas.
Steve Swanson's program has scored 504 total goals since the start of the 2011 season, the only team in the country to break that 500-goal mark. This summer, the Wahoos scored twice against Illinois, then three goals against the Richmond United U14 Boys team in a pair of shutout exhibition wins.
"I think we did some good things in the preseason, and we're in a pretty good place heading into this first game," Swanson said. "But I think normally, for the first two weeks you're still, even when you're in the regular season you're still in the preseason mode. You're still trying to figure things out a little bit. And I think we'll be in that stage for a couple weeks here now."