The University of Virginia has churned out soccer excellence of both genders for decades, and through the first few weeks of the 2019 season, the Cavaliers teams are perfect.

Let’s start with the fourth-ranked women, because they are unblemished through more matches (8-0-0) and passed their first road test Sunday, defeating No. 8 Penn State, 2-1.

Sydney Zandi scored the go-ahead goal in the 86th minute, 26 seconds after the Nittany Lions had drawn level.

“To score the way we did right after they equalized says a great deal about our mentality,” said Cavaliers Coach Steve Swanson, who, this summer, was an assistant on the U.S. World Cup staff in France. “That response was good to see.”


Virginia’s scoring margin this season is 35-3, a haughty figure greatly enhanced three days earlier by an 8-1 demolition of William and Mary. Freshman Diana Ordoñez leads the team with nine goals, though she has missed the past two matches with a minor injury.


The Cavaliers will visit Wake Forest (5-2-1) in the ACC opener Friday.

The sixth-ranked men’s team improved to 4-0-0 for the first time in 13 years with a 3-1 comeback triumph at No. 2 Duke in Friday’s ACC opener, giving the Cavaliers victories over teams ranked in the top two at the time of the meetings. On Labor Day, they defeated then-No. 1 Maryland, 2-0, at Audi Field in Washington.

“Any away win in the conference is massive,” Coach George Gelnovatch said. “You couple this with the Maryland win, those are two great performances away from home and I can’t be more proud of the way our team played both offensively and defensively.”


Daryl Dike, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound striker from Oklahoma, used both strength and grace in setting up the third goal.

Dike’s brother, Bright, was the 2009 Big East player of the year at Notre Dame and went on to play in MLS and make two appearances for the Nigerian national team. A sister, Courtney, starred at Oklahoma State and represented Nigeria at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.


Virginia will host Radford (1-2-2) on Tuesday before welcoming North Carolina State (3-1-1) on Friday.

>> The Virginia teams are not the only unbeatens: The Georgetown and Navy men are flawless, as well.

The fifth-ranked Hoyas (5-0-0) routed visiting Connecticut, 4-1, on Saturday to increase their goal total to 16 (by 10 different players). In the previous outing, they scored five at perennial power UCLA.


Coach Brian Wiese is still not satisfied.

“We haven’t really played a full 90 minutes yet. In all of our games we’ve had these stretches where we allowed the opponent to dictate the flow of play,” he said. “The challenge for our guys is can we find 90 minutes to grind a proper performance out.”

Georgetown will begin the Big East campaign Friday at Butler (3-1-0).

At 5-0-0, the Midshipmen are off to their best start in 28 years and have matched last’s year win total (5-11-1). Matt Nocita scored in the 60th minute of a 1-0 victory at previously unbeaten Mount St. Mary’s, extending the shutout streak to four games.


Navy, which will visit Longwood (3-1-0) on Wednesday, returned 19 players and all 11 starters from last season.


>> In their last nonconference match, the No. 16 Virginia Tech women (8-0-0) posted their sixth shutout in a 1-0 victory at UNC Wilmington. Under Chugger Adair, the Hokies are 65-4-6 outside the ACC. The ninth-ranked men dropped their first match after four victories, losing at home to No. 18 North Carolina, 3-1.

>> The No. 15 Georgetown women (5-2-1) have scored 11 times in three matches following a 3-0 home victory over No. 23 West Virginia (3-3-1). Ohio University (5-2-0) will visit Shaw Field on Friday.

>> In a rematch of the 2018 NCAA final, Eric Matzelevich (D.C. United academy) scored in the 18th minute as No. 24 Maryland (2-2-0) defeated winless Akron, 1-0, before 4,403 spectators in College Park. On Monday night, the defending champions will host Villanova (4-1-0), which conceded a goal for the first time this season in a 1-0 defeat at Penn State on Friday.