Field Hockey Embarks on Five Game Road Swing
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The sixth-ranked Virginia field hockey team (2-0, 0-0 ACC) hits the road for the first time this season to play at Providence (0-1) at 4 p.m. Friday before taking on No. 16 Old Dominion (2-0) at noon Monday in Norfolk, Va.
Fourth-year head coach Michele Madison, now in her 21st season in the college ranks, is one win away from No. 250. The Philadelphia native has a career record of 249-70-8 in 20 years, including a 41-27-0 mark in three-plus seasons at UVa. She previously coached at Michigan State and Temple before taking over the Cavalier program.
The Cavaliers opened up the 2009 campaign with a 7-1 victory at home over Miami (Ohio) last Friday. Floor Vogels scored twice while freshman Britt Knouse and sophomore Alex Jahnle recorded their first career goals in the winning effort. Traci Ragukas, Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese also scored for UVa. Virginia outshot the RedHawks 18-2 in the game and had an 8-1 advantage on penalty corners. Virginia then defeated No. 11 Penn State 1-0 last Sunday with newcomer Inga Stöckel scoring the lone goal. UVA outshot the Nittany Lions 17-5 in the game.
Providence is coming off a 1-0 loss to Massachusetts in the 2009 season opener on August 29. The Friars look to bounce back with help from nine starters who return from last year’s squad. The team will be led by senior Nellie Poulin who was named the 2009 Preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, along with Rachel Chamberlain who was honored as the 2009 Preseason BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Jamie Lipski also is expected to play a significant role for the Friars after being named to the 2008 NFHCA All-Northeast Region Second Team, and was invited to U.S. Junior National camp in August.
Virginia is 3-0 all-time against Providence. Last season, the Cavaliers came away with a 4-1 victory in Charlottesville in the second game of the year. Four different players scored against the Friars, including then-freshman Michelle Vittese, who notched her first career collegiate goal. The other goals were scored by Haley Carpenter, Lauren Elstein and Paige Selenski.
ODU defeated Penn State 2-1 and Villanova 7-1 last weekend and is off it is first 2-0 start since the 2006 season. Sophomore Rachel Stream was named the Colonial Athletic Association field hockey Co-Player of the Week. She tallied three goals for the Lady Monarchs, including the game winner against No. 11 Penn State.
ODU was picked to win the 2009 CAA field hockey title in a vote of the league’s nine head coaches. The Lady Monarchs received six first-place votes and 62 total points, edging out second-place James Madison. Old Dominion returns 10 starters from the 2008 squad that finished 6-2 in CAA play. The Lady Monarchs are led by senior midfielder Kathleen Shea, who finished the 2008 season with five goals and was a first-team all CAA selection. Goalkeeper Kelly Driscoll returns for her senior season after leading the CAA with 7.3 saves per game and posting four shutouts a year ago. Loran Hatch will look to build off a solid sophomore season where she scored five goals.
Old Dominion leads the all-time series with the Cavaliers 32-9. Last year in Charlottesville, 11th-ranked Virginia upset No. 8 Old Dominion 2-0. The win marked the first for the Cavalier program over Old Dominion since 1996; the Monarchs had previously claimed the last 11 meetings between the two teams. Traci Ragukas and Michelle Vittese tallied goals for the Orange and Blue.