Field Hockey Player Sets Single Season Assist Mark
October 28, 1998
Michelle Vizzuso (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex) passed the ball to Meridith Thorpe (St. Louis, Mo./John Burroughs), who scored on a penalty corner play with 34 seconds remaining in the game against Wake Forest on October 24. Vizzuso’s assist gives her 22 for the season, which sets a new Virginia record for assists in a season, breaking the 21 she had set last year. Shell ranks third all-time in the ACC with 57 assists and 13th all-time nationally. Only 10 people have recorded 60 career assists.
GAME 14: #2 Virginia 2, William & Mary 1–
Lori Mastropietro (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock) scored on a corner play to give the Cavaliers the 2-0 lead in the second half and second-ranked Virginia held off a furious William & Mary charge to defeat the Tribe 2-1. For the second consecutive game, the Cavaliers faced a penalty corner with no time on the clock, and for the second consecutive time, the Cavalier defense stood strong, preserving the win. Virginia took the lead in the first period as Michelle Vizzuso converted a penalty stroke just 12 minutes into the game after Meredith Elwell (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) was taken down in front of the goal.
Vizzuso’s goal was the only scoring in the first half as the Cavaliers were able to prevent William and Mary from taking a shot. In the second half, the William and Mary defense tightened and kept the Cavaliers from shooting the ball until Mastropietro collected a pass from Meridith Thorpe on a penalty corner play and hit the ball into the cage to give the Cavaliers the 2-0 lead. William and Mary stormed back, collecting a loose ball in the backfield and scoring on a scramble in front of the cage to cut the deficit to 2-1. With time running down, William and Mary was able to force a corner and have a chance for the equalizer with no time on the clock. But they were unable to get the corner in action and the Cavaliers held on for the victory.
GAME 15: #2 Virginia 6, #14 Wake Forest 0–
The Cavalier defense allowed only four shots on goal while senior All-American Meridith Thorpe netted a hat trick to help the Cavaliers defeat sixtheenth-ranked Wake Forest 6-0. Senior All-American Michelle Vizzuso added three assists to send the Cavaliers to the victory. The six goals is the most goals allowed by Wake this season, which ranked first in the conference in scoring defense, allowing only 1.00 goals per game before this game. After 20 minutes of movement up and down the field by both teams, Vizzuso started the scoring for the Cavaliers with a blast from just inside the circle after she had drawn the Wake keeper out of the net. Her goal with 10:38 remaining in the half would prove to be the game-winner. Wake went down 2-0 just 42 seconds later when Thorpe’s shot was deflected by a Wake defender into the cage. Laura Lindsay (Deerfield, Mass./Deerfield) was credited with an assist on the goal.
Wake was able to force a pair of corners in a ten-second span with two minutes to go in the half, but both shots were saved by Virginia goalie Becky Worthington (Fairview Village, Pa./Methacton), who finished the day with three saves. The teams entered halftime with Virginia holding a 2-0 lead. Thorpe hit the third goal on a beautiful cross by Amy Broadwater (Elizabethtown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) just 12:26 into the second half. Worthington came up big for the Cavaliers as she saved a tipped shot that almost dipped into the cage minutes later, but her save on the last Demon Deacon shot preserved the victory.
Vizzuso and Meredith Elwell (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) teamed up for the next two goals, ten minutes apart. With 17:50 remaining in the half, Vizzuso’s pass into the circle was collected by Elwell, who put the ball in the cage behind the goalie who had come out to play Vizzuso. The Cavaliers went up 5-0 ten minutes later when Vizzuso’s pass was poked in past the keeper on a breakway.Thorpe completed her hat trick with just 34 seconds remaining as the Cavaliers connected on a penalty corner. Vizzuso’s stick stop was pushed to Thorpe, who swept the ball into the net for the final score of the game.
Seeing double, part three: Michelle Vizzuso’s first period goal against Wake Forest gives her 10 goals on the season, which means that for the third consecutive season, Vizzuso has scored in double digits in both goals and assists in a single season. She was the first Cavalier to reach this milestone two years ago and is the only person in school history to reach this milestone in three consecutive seasons. She already owns Virginia’s two top assist records (season and career).
Triumvirate in ACC honors: Michelle Vizzuso, Meridith Thorpe, and Meredith Elwell have each been named ACC Player of the Week. Virginia is the only school that has had three players be so named. Elwell has also been named HockeyPoint! player of the week.
Back up on top: The Cavaliers are the conference leader in scoring defense, allowing only 1.3 goals per game.
On the Horizon
Hailing the Highlanders: Virginia leads the all-time series with the Highlanders 13-0, having played every year since 1984 with the exception of last year. The Cavaliers have outscored Radford 50-8 in the 13 games. Virginia has fared well against in-state teams in history, having a record of 154-52-15 all-time against in-state foes.
Dealing with the Devils on Halloween: The Cavaliers own a 15-8 advantage in the Duke series, including a three-game winning streak. Last year the Cavs beat the Blue Devils 5-1 at home and then needed overtime to get past them in the semifinals of the ACC Tourn-ament. UVa is only 4-4 against Duke in Durham, though. Former Virginia captain Jen Larsen is now an assistant coach with Duke. Virginia has not won on Halloween since 1981, suffering through a three-game losing streak recently.
Keepin in on: The Hoos are riding a 21-game winning streak in October dating back to 1995 when UVa beat then-Towson State 4-0 on Oct. 13. It is the longest winning streak in school history for a month. The longest unbeaten streak, though, goes back to 1974-77 when the Hoos were unbeaten in 32 consecutive games, starting with a win over VCU 2-0 on October 16, 1974 and lasted through the Roanoke game in 1978, which the Hoos won 3-0. In that 32-game span, Virginia tied 3 games. The second-longest streak, 14, was the final 14 games of that stretch. UVa has won 155 games all-time in October for a win % of 68.7%.