Virginia Set to Face UNC in NCAA Semifinals
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The second-ranked and second overall seeded Virginia field hockey team (20-3) will make its third appearance in the NCAA semifinals this weekend. The Cavaliers will face No. 3 North Carolina (18-2) at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the second game, following No. 1 Maryland (22-0) and No. 4 Princeton (16-2) at 2 p.m. from Kentner Stadium on the Wake Forest campus. The two winners will meet at noon Sunday in the national championship game.
Semifinal games will be streamed live on NCAA.com and the title game will be carried live by CBS College Sports. Live stats will be available on NCAA.com and linked on VirginiaSports.com.
With its win over Michigan State in the second round, the Cavaliers set the program record for wins in a season (20). The previous record of 19 victories was set in 1978 and tied again in 1997. The game with North Carolina on Friday will be the 24th of the season, which will set another program mark for most games in a single season. Virginia played 23 games in 1981, 1996, 1998 and 2008.
Virginia is making its third NCAA semifinal appearance (1997, 1998, 2009); the Cavaliers lost to Old Dominion in both the 1997 (3-2 in Storrs, Conn.) and 1998 (3-0 in Philadelphia, Pa.) semifinals.
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. She is making her third NCAA semifinal appearance as a head coach – also taking Michigan State to the semifinals in 2002 and 2004. She also was part of four semifinal teams as an assistant coach at Iowa (1984, 1986, 1987 and 1988). The 1986 Hawkeyes won the national championship. Madison and her staff have led Virginia to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years at UVa.
Virginia defeated Richmond 3-0 in the first round and Michigan State 3-2 in overtime in the second round to move on to the semis. This season, sophomore Paige Selenski leads the team with 26 goals – a mark that is tied for the third-most in a single season in school history. Teammate Tara Puffenberger has contributed 10 scores while senior Traci Ragukas has nine on the year. Newcomer Inga Stockel also leads the Cavaliers with 11 assists. In the cage, junior goalkeeper Kim Kastuk has a 0.87 goals against average and a .788 save percentage.
Sophomore Paige Selenski leads the Cavaliers with 26 goals this season, a mark which is tied for third all-time on the single season lists. Her six game-winning goals also rank first among ACC players. Teammates Tara Puffenberger and Traci Ragukas have also contributed 10 and nine goals, respectively, while Inga Stockel leads Virginia with 11 assists. In the cage, Kim Kastuk boasts a 0.87 goals-against average and a .788 save percentage.
North Carolina is 18-2 on the season and defeated Ohio State (4-1, first round) and Wake Forest (4-1, second round) en route to the NCAA semifinals. The Tar Heels’ only losses to were top-ranked Maryland at home in the regular season and to Virginia in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. UNC had five selections to the All-ACC squad, to lead all conference teams. Senior Illse Davids, junior Katelyn Falgowski, senior Danielle Forword, junior Jackie Kintzer and freshman Kelsey Kolojejchick, the 2009 ACC Freshman of the Year, were all named to the squad. Senior Melanie Brill leads North Carolina with 17 goals, including five game-winners, while Falgowski has a team-best 22 assists. Kintzer has a 0.63 goals against average and a .795 save percentage in the cage for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina leads the all-time series with Virginia 42-16. The teams have met twice this season, each with a win. UNC won the regular season showdown, 2-1, in overtime (Oct. 17 in Charlottesville). The Cavaliers then earned a 1-0 victory in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament (Nov. 6 in Charlottesville).