Cavaliers Continue Road Trip with Two Games in Ohio
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The sixth-ranked Virginia field hockey team (4-0, 0-0 ACC) continues its five-game road swing with a trip to Ohio this weekend. The Cavaliers will face Kent State (2-3) at 1 p.m. Friday before heading south to battle the Bobcats of Ohio (1-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both teams are receiving votes in the latest Kookaburra/NFHCA poll.
Virginia is coming off a 1-0 victory with in-state foe Old Dominion on the road on Labor Day. Sophomore Inga Stöckel scored the lone goal of the game with just 5:22 remaining on the clock. UVa embarked on its five-game road swing with a trip to Providence, R.I., where the Orange and Blue came away with a 2-1 win over the Friars last Friday. Freshman Tara Puffenberger scored both goals against Providence, including the first of her college career.
Virginia has outscored opponents 11-1 in four games this season. Providence has been the only team to record a score against the UVa defense. The Cavaliers are also outshooting opponents 69-19 and have a 25-14 advantage on penalty corners. Inga Stöckel, Tara Puffenberger and Floor Vogels lead Virginia in scoring thus far. All three have two goals and an assist for five points.
Kent State is 2-3 on the season and receiving votes in the latest Kookaburra/NFHCA Coaches Poll, released Tuesday. The Golden Flashes are coming off a three-game west coast trip in which they went 1-2, with a win over Pacific (3-1) and losses to California (2-0) and Stanford (7-1). To open the season, Kent State beat Saint Louis 7-0 before falling to then-No. 12 James Madison 3-2 at home. New Zealand native Debbie Bell leads Kent State with five goals and two assists for 12 points. Bell also has had both game-winning goals and leads the team with 35 shots.
Kent State senior Laurie Wilkins has contributed three goals while juniors Nicole Leach and Rachel Miller each have scored twice. Junior Carolina Suitch has started all five games in the cage and has 22 saves. Virginia leads the all-time series with Kent State, 2-0. The two teams played in Charlottesville last season, with the Cavaliers earning a 4-2 victory at the U-Hall Turf Field. Lauren Elstein, Paige Selenski and Traci Ragukas each tallied scores in the win a year ago.
Ohio is 1-3 on the season and will play at Ohio State Friday afternoon before facing the Cavaliers on Sunday. OU played a pair of Big Ten foes last weekend, defeating Indiana 1-0 in overtime on Friday before falling to Michigan State 5-2 on Sunday. The Bobcats opened the season with a 3-0 loss to Maryland followed by a 3-2 overtime loss to Northwestern in the Wildcat Classic.
OU’s Marcy Dull and Charlottesville native Katherine Ballard currently pace the Ohio offense with two goals this season. Teammates Katelyn Shelley and Brittany Zorn also each have two assists. Junior Courtney Selders, who sat out the 2008 season after transferring from Old Dominion, and sophomore Jen McGill have split time at goalkeeper for the Bobcats. They both have 16 saves apiece thus far.
Virginia leads the all-time series with the Bobcats, 4-0. Ohio and UVa played in Charlottesville a year ago with the Cavaliers taking a 2-1 nail biter in overtime.Traci Ragukas and Paige Selenski each scored against OU last season, with Selenski’s score being the game-winner.