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November 3, 1998

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Atlantic Coast Conference, the nation’s top field hockey conference, with all members currently in the nation’s top-20 poll, will hold its conference tournament this weekend in Charlottesville. Hosted by the University of Virginia, ranked #2 in the nation and the conference regular season champion, the ACC will welcome #4 North Carolina, #7 Maryland, #13 Duke and #20 Wake Forest at the University Hall Turf Field.

Virginia is ranked second in the nation and features 10 members of United States national teams. The Cavaliers boast the conference’s top defense and top offense and went through the 1998 conference slate with a perfect 4-0 record. They were the 1997 ACC runners-up and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the first time in school history last year. Leading the attack are senior All-Americans Michelle Vizzuso (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex) and Meridith Thorpe (St. Louis, Mo./John Burroughs). Vizzuso holds the Cavalier record for assists in a career and assists in a single season. Thorpe is the all-time ACC leader in scoring with 225 points and goals with 99. Lori Mastropietro (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock), a teammate of Vizzuso and Thorpe on the United States National team, is anchoring the conference’s top defense.

Maryland is the second seed in this year’s tournament and will face the defending ACC and NCAA Champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels, in one semifinal game. Maryland (11-5, 3-1 ACC, ranked #7) defeated North Carolina (12-6, 2-2 ACC, ranked #4) 5-0 at Maryland earlier this season. The Maryland-North Carolina semifinal will take place at 12:00 on Friday, Nov. 6.

Duke (10-9, 0-4 ACC, #13) will face fourth seed Wake Forest (11-8, 1-3 ACC, #20) in a game on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 2:00 pm. These two teams split a pair of contests earlier this season, with Duke taking the opener 2-1 in overtime and Wake defeating Duke in the second game 3-0. Virginia will face the winner of this game in the second semifinal on Friday at 2:30 pm.

The Championship game will take place on Sunday, November 8 at 3:30 pm.

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