Field Hockey Preps for ACC Tournament
November 4, 1998
GAME 17: #2 Virginia 3, Radford 1–The Cavalier field hockey team ranked second in the nation, held off in-state rival Radford 3-1 behind a pair of unassisted goals by Meredith Elwell (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown). The win was the Cavaliers 11th win at home this season and the 15th win in a row at home, continuing both school records. Elwell started the scoring for UVa with a goal with just under 10 minutes elapsed in the game. She collected a loose ball off a penalty corner and stuck it in the goal to give the Hoos the early lead. Michelle Vizzuso (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex) scored with 11:26 left in the first half on another corner play. She was assisted on the play by Lori Mastropietro (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock). Virginia led at halftime 2-0.
Virginia went to 3-0 with a second goal by Elwell, who dug the ball out of the pads of the Radford goalie after a Meridith Thorpe (St. Louis, Mo./John Burroughs) shot on a penalty corner. Elwells goal just 2:04 into the second period gave the Cavaliers a three goal lead. Radford scrapped back with a goal with just 5:17 remaining in the contest as they intercepted a pass in the Virginia backfield and took the ball down for the score. Michelle Vizzusos goal, which proved to be the game-winner, gives her 10 game-winning goals for her career to go along with 11 game-winning assists. She is the first person in UVa history to hit double digits in career game-winning goals and assists.
GAME 18: #2 Virginia 2, #13 Duke 1–Thirteenth-ranked Duke (9-8) almost pulled the trick on second-ranked Virginia (15-3) on Halloween with a 1-0 lead halfway through the first half, but the Cavaliers rallied for the final two goals of the game to defeat ACC-rival Duke 2-1 today in Virginias last regular season game.
With the win, the Cavaliers improve to 15-3 and 4-0 in the ACC. It is the second consecutive year that the Cavaliers have gone through the ACC slate undefeated. Duke scored first on a corner play with 16:18 remaining in the first half of play as Mary Jo Reider connected off a corner play. Corey Ceccolini was credited with the assist.Virginia tied the game as Michelle Vizzuso scored on a blast from the left side of the circle with 5:23 remaining in the half. The teams entered halftime tied at 1-1.In the second half, Virginia was awarded 13 corners to Dukes 1 but was unable to place the ball in the net. The Cavalier defense was able to hold Duke to one shot in the second half, but the game-winning goal did not come until the 11:41 mark of the second. Vizzuso passed the ball to Meridith Thorpe , who was able to hit the ball into the cage for the game-winner.
The Cavaliers out-shot the Blue Devils 15-4 and out-cornered them 17-4. With her three points today, Vizzuso moves into a tie for third all-time at Virginia with 154 points and her 58th career assist moves her into a tie for second all-time in the ACC.
Vizzuso leads league: Michelle Vizzusos 47 points in the regular season was good enough to capture the regular season scoring crown in the ACC. It is her highest scoring total for a season, besting her 45 last year. The 47 points ranks second all-time as a senior and sixth all-time in school history. Michelle was named the ACC Player of the Week for the second time this season as she tallied two goals and an assist in the Cavaliers two wins this week. She is the only person in the ACC to be named Player of the Week twice this season.
Back up on top: The Cavaliers are the conference leader in scoring defense, allowing only 1.28 goals per game. Virginia is also ranked 4th nationally in scoring defense, behind only Princeton (.688), Old Dominion (.90), and Boston College (1.00).
Thorpe and Elwell atop leaderboard: The Mere/idith tandem has led the league in goals with 17 tallied each this season.
On the Horizon: ACC Tournament
Deja Vue: Virginia is in the very familiar position of being the top seed at the ACC Tournament, having been the #1 team a year ago. The Cavaliers hope, though, that this years tournament ends a little differently than it did last year. Virginia will once again face the winner of the #4/#5 game, which once again pits Wake Forest vs Duke. Last year Duke beat Wake Forest and then took the Cavaliers to overtime, where the Hoos survived a pair of penalty corners and a scare, but Meredith Elwell skipped a shot through the Duke keeper into the cage for the win. The Cavaliers lost to the Tar Heels, though, 2-0 in the tournament finals. Virginia defeated Duke earlier this season 2-1 in Durham and blanked Wake Forest 6-0 in Charlottesville.
No place like home: Virginia is enjoying spending time at home, as the Cavaliers have a perfect 11-0 record at home. The Hoos also have a 15-game home winning streak going into the ACC Tournament. It is the longest home winning streak in school history. Virginia has been undefeated and untied at home only two seasons previously, in 1977 (6-0) and 1992 (7-0). The senior class has a record of 36-5 at home.
Awesome October: For the second consecutive season the Cavaliers have gone through the month of October unblemished. Virginia finished the month with a perfect 9-0 record. It is the 13th time that Virginia has gone through a month without a loss, but only the 7th time that the Hoos have had no ties, and only the second time the team has played more than four games and won all of them. Virginia has won 23 straight games in October, dating back to 1996 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 157 games all-time in October for a win % of 68.9% (157-68-10).