Strong start to season for UVA's Sumpter

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Entering Friday night's season opener against UC Irvine, midfielder Anna Sumpter had one career goal and two assists in 32 game appearances for the Virginia women's soccer program.

The redshirt junior from Western Albemarle High School doubled her career scoring totals in 72 minutes of play against the Anteaters. Sumpter assisted on one goal in each half and scored the Cavaliers' fourth goal in a 7-0 UVA win.

"It's awesome. Not a feeling like it," said Sumpter, who made her third career start on Friday night.

"The run she made to get in behind and score the goal was classic Anna Sumpter," said UVA head coach Steve Swanson.

Swanson wasn't sure he'd see Sumpter on the field on Friday, let alone finish the night tied with freshman Diana Ordonez as the Cavaliers' leading scorers. Sumpter had been limited since ankle surgery in April, and had spent the preseason working her way back into game shape.

That ankle injury was the latest setback for Sumpter, who had to overcome three ACL tears -- one in her left knee and two in her right -- before getting a chance to take the field in a UVA uniform as a redshirt freshman in 2017.

On Friday night, Swanson -- now in his 20th season as UVA's head coach, and fresh off his second stint as an assistant with the World Cup champion US Women's National Team -- called Sumpter one of the more competitive players he's coached.

"Everything matters to her. It doesn't matter if she's playing a game of chess, or a soccer game or a basketball game, or whatever. She wants to win, and she's driven," Swanson said. "You can't have enough of those players on our team."

"Having missed a little bit of time, it's just good to be back with the girls. And I just want us to kind of execute," Sumpter said. "Last year I felt like we fell short of what we could have done. And so this being my senior year, we've just got to do it."

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