Cavaliers Open NCAA Play Saturday vs. Richmond
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Second-ranked and second overall seed Virginia (18-3) will make its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance at home this weekend. Virginia will meet Richmond (14-8) at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the first round at the University Hall Turf Field.
Big Ten champion Michigan State (17-3) and Colonial Athletic Association champion Delaware (14-5) will compete in the second game at approximately 2 p.m. The winners will meet at 2 p.m. Sunday for a chance to advance to the national semifinals.
Tickets are available for $5 (adults) and $3 (youth/students/seniors) at the gate. The Cage Lot will also be cash parking for $5.
Virginia is making its 19th appearance n the national tournament, including its 16th in the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers also played in three AIAW Tournaments. Virginia’s No. 2 seed is the highest in program history; the team was the No. 3 overall seed in 1997. The Cavaliers have an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 8-15 and have made two NCAA semifinal appearances (1997 and 1998).
This year marks just the second time Virginia has hosted an NCAA Regional. The Cavaliers also hosted in 1997, when the program made its first (of two) trip to the NCAA semifinals. That year, Virginia earned a first-round bye (only 14 teams made the tournament) and then defeated Penn State 4-2 to advance.
Head coach Michele Madison is the only coach in NCAA Division I history to take three different teams (Temple, Michigan State, Virginia) to the NCAA Tournament. Madison and her staff have led Virginia to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years at UVa. The Cavaliers have advanced to the quarterfinals (final eight) in 2006, her first season, and 2008. UVa lost in the first round to Penn State in 2007. Madison, now in her 21st season as a head coach, is making her 11th overall NCAA Tournament appearance.
Virginia has a shot at breaking the program record for wins in a season – the current record is 19 victories in a season, set in 1978 and tied again in 1997. The team’s 18 wins are the most since 1998, when the Cavaliers went 18-5.
Virginia is coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to top-ranked Maryland in the title game of the ACC Tournament last Sunday at home. Freshman Charlotte van den Broek and Tara Puffenberger scored for the Cavaliers, who led 2-0 at halftime. The Terrpains began to shift the tide in the 56th minute when Katie O’Donnell scored her 22nd goal of the season to cut the Cavalier lead to 2-1. Maryland tied the score less than two minutes later when Nicole Muracco scored her league-leading 27th goal of the season to knot the game, 2-2. Maryland freshman Megan Frazer scored the game-winner-her 12th score of the season-in the 72nd minute, a tip-in on a penalty corner. Virginia’s Paige Selenski, Inga Stöckel and van den Broek were named to the all-tournament team.
Richmond is 14-8 on the year and ranked No. 19 in the latest NFCHA top-20 poll. The Spiders, who won the Atlantic-10, defeated MAC champion Ohio 2-1 in a play-in game to earn a berth into the tournament. Richmond claimed the A-10 crown with a 2-1 overtime victory over UMass before routing Temple 3-0. Sarah Blythe-Wood leads the Spiders with 22 goals and 11 assists on the year. Her five game-winners also are a team-best. Teammates Katelin Peterson and Dani Pycroft have contributed 13 and 11 scores, respectively. Goalkeeper Jacki Raithel has a 2.07 goals against average and a .715 save percentage in the cage.
Virginia leads the all-time series with Richmond, 29-4-1. The Cavaliers won the meeting earlier this season, a 4-3 win in Richmond. The last Spider victory was in 2005, a 1-0 win over the Cavaliers in Charlottesville.