NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The Christopher Newport women’s soccer team celebrated its return to the top spot in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 poll with another win Tuesday, 3-0 at Southern Virginia, making it 57 games without a loss for the Captains.
It’s the third-straight season CNU (11-0-1) has earned the No. 1 ranking, after finishing 2021 as the nation’s top Division III team and staying in the top spot for all of 2022. This season, the Captains started out No. 6 and have been making a steady climb, and were holding at No. 2 for the past three weeks behind Carnegie Mellon before the two teams flipped spots in this week’s poll.
The win over Southern Virginia was Christopher Newport’s fifth-straight shutout win, and it’s the second time it has put together five-straight games without a goal, with a shutout streak of more than 479 minutes.
The loss for Southern Virginia (6-5-1) was its first in nearly three weeks.
Sophomore midfielder Kyleigh Gough had a part of all three CNU goals, starting the plays for each goal, with one coming in the 7th minute of the first half and the other two coming in the second.
On the first half goal, Gough’s pass down the right side put Corinne Kulik free behind the Southern Virginia defense, creating a 3-on-1 break. Kulik moved toward goal before centering a pass to Sarah Smith, whose hard shot was initially saved by the Knights’ goalkeeper, but Hanna Heaton put away the rebound to put the Captains up 1-0.
The second goal of the match came in the 72nd minute as Gough found Katy Bronski sprinting by her defender on the left and put a pass between Southern Virginia defenders, which Bronski reached at the same time as the Knights’ goalkeeper, but Bronski stuck with the play and put the shot away for a 2-0 CNU lead.
It was Bronski’s second-straight game with a goal and her third of the season.
The third goal came in the 88th minute as the Captains drew a foul about 25 yards from goal on the left side. Gough put a short pass to Heaton, who smashed a right-footed shot that the goalkeeper deflected, but wasn’t able to keep out of the net. It was Heaton’s third goal of the season.
The Captains held Southern Virginia to just five shots, and freshman goalkeeper Amy Sidaway made three saves.
CNU will be at home for its next three games, beginning with a 4 p.m. kickoff against Mary Washington Saturday.
Note: Virginia Wesleyan eliminated Christopher Newport from the NCAA Division III tournament in the quarterfinals last season, but because it finished in a scoreless tie through regulation and overtime, is not counted as an official loss.