Cavalier Corner

Dec. 2019

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20 CAVALIER CORNER BY MIKE SCANDURA G I V E N W H AT Vir- ginia goalkeeper Lau- rel Ivory has accom- plished, it would have been easy for her to rest on her laurels this season. That wasn't the case in the opin- ion of UVA goalie coach Jake Davis. "The first thing that stands out is her willingness to learn," Davis said. "We're working on how do we get better. It would be easy to be stagnant throughout the season, but she's looking to improve. "It's about improving and helping the team. Even if she's not allowing a goal, she's looking at film and looking at how she can improve." The third-year keeper had a 2019 season for the ages, compiling a 15-0-3 record and posting 12 shutouts, which tied for fourth in the nation. The six goals she allowed calcu- lated to a 0.31 goals against average, which ranked fifth in the country. From Sept. 26 through Oct. 24, she re- corded six consecutive shutouts before al- lowing a goal against Boston College. That streak was the longest in program history. Unfortunately for Ivory and Virginia, she fractured her jaw during the ACC Tourna- ment championship game against North Carolina Nov. 10 and was sidelined for the NCAA Tournament. "She had surgery and is recovering, but it will take time for bones to heal," head coach Steve Swanson said. "We expect a full recovery. We're happy she's safe, and she's disappointed given the timing of this." Ivory has been a starter since day one at UVA, after committing to Virginia as a freshman at Miami Country Day School. "She's very mature and graduated early to come to Virginia," Swanson said. "It's hard in our sport to transition to college soccer be- cause most of the club soccer you play is age- oriented. When you get to college you play four years up. In her case it was five years. For her to adjust shows you the talent she has. "She has a unique ability to process things. She never felt like a first-year to me. She always felt like a veteran. That's a credit to her composure." Ivory didn't hesitate when asked why she committed to UVA. "It's an environment that pushes you to be better than you already are," she told The Cavalier Daily. "It demands the best out of you in every little thing, whether it's in a meeting, a meal, training or just talking with a coach. "It's an extremely professional environ- ment, and you learn how to carry yourself as a professional very quickly." Swanson's ability to develop NCAA Tournament teams figured in her decision. "Just the history of the program and being under Steve were huge for me," Ivory told The Cavalier Daily. "You do what he says, and you're doing the right thing. I trust him. "I have 100 percent trust in his plans for my career and his opinions about my career and what I should be doing." In his 20 years at Virginia, Swanson has seen the best the ACC has to offer when it comes to goalkeepers and knows what sepa- rates Ivory from the rest of the pack. "I can say Laurel is as good as any goal- keeper I've seen," he said. "She has incred- ible tools, is a good shot stopper, reads the game very well and has good feet, one of the components of a modern-day goalkeeper. "She distributes the ball very well. She THE STOPPER Hard Work Helped Laurel Ivory Develop Into One Of The Top Goalkeepers In The Nation Ivory compiled a 15-0-3 record during the 2019 season, and was tied for fourth in the nation in shutouts (12) and was fifth in goals against average (0.31) as of mid-November. PHOTO COURTESY UVA

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