Owen and Whiteley's Career Day Lifts No. 4 Virginia Over Virginia Tech, 20-14
BLACKSBURG, Va. – In the highest scoring Virginia vs. Virginia Tech series – and closest margin of victory – it was the fourth-ranked Cavaliers that fought off an efficient Virginia Tech squad, 20-14, Wednesday afternoon at Thompson Field.
While the 20 goals ties the most scored by the Cavaliers in the series, the 14 Hokie goals were the most given up by Virginia. The win, though, marked the 15th-straight over Tech for the Cavaliers and moved Virginia to 15-0 all-time against its in-state rival.
Senior All-American Brittany Kalkstein tied a career-high nine draw controls to surpass her previous school record for single season draws. The ACC career draw control record holder now has 75 draws on the season, bettering her season total of 73 from last year.
Sophomore Josie Owen led Virginia’s attack with a career-high nine points on a personal-best four goals and five assists, while senior Caity Whiteley tacked on a career-high five goals. Sophomore Charlie Finnigan notched four goals and two assists for the Cavaliers, while Kalkstein and freshman Caroline McTiernan had two goals each. Senior All-American Kaitlin Duff and freshmen Kelly Austin and Anne Thomas rounded out the scoring with one goal each.
For Virginia Tech (4-9, 0-4 ACC), the Hokies were led by Morgan Widlake, who contributed three goals and one assist, while Ryan Rotanz and Allie Emala each had two goals.
Owen anchored the Cavaliers’ attack in the opening frame, contributing eight of her career-high nine points in the first 30 minutes of play. Owen assisted Finnigan for Virginia’s first goal of the game at 27:37, before firing three-unassisted scores of her own past Hokie keeper Alex Gale to give Virginia a 4-0 advantage.
Thomas tacked on another score to give the Cavaliers a 5-0 lead.
Virginia Tech responded though, scoring two-straight goals to spark a 5-2 streak that cut Virginia’s lead to two, at 7-5, with 10:45 on the clock. Throughout that span, Austin notched her first collegiate goal at 12:49, assisted by Owen.
The Cavaliers regrouped following the Hokies’ fifth score, with McTiernan scoring on an assist from Kalkstein at 10:24. Owen won the ensuing draw control and heaved a pass to Whiteley, who won a one-on-one battle with the Tech’s goalie just six seconds later. Owen tacked on her fourth goal of the game, assisted by Finnigan, at 8:51, before the Hokies found the back of the net at 4:36.
Virginia closed out the scoring in the opening half, with McTiernan finishing a pass from Owen at 2:51.
The Hokies opened scoring in the second half just 11 seconds into play, before Kalkstein and Duff each converted free position shots for Virginia to bring the score to 13-7.
Virginia Tech had a goal at 27:12, before Whiteley had an unassisted score at 26:27. The Hokies answered by rattling off three-straight goals to cut the Cavaliers’ lead to three, at 14-11, with 21:19 to play.
Virginia called a timeout following the flurry of goals and responded with a score from Finnigan at 19:21, but the Hokies were able to score again, at 17:27, before the Cavaliers could string together three goals to pull ahead six at 18-12, with 13:52 on the clock.
The Hokies would score two more goals, at 10:08 and 9:27 – but those would prove to be the final scores for Virginia Tech, while the Cavaliers tacked on two more to bring the final score to 20-14.
Defensively, Kalkstein won nine of Virginia’s 23 draw controls, while Owen won a career-high five and junior Liz Downs collected four to help the Cavaliers break the program’s single season mark for draws – previously set in 2002 when the squad won 21 in a win against No. 13 William & Mary on Feb. 27.
Owen also had a personal-best five ground balls and three caused turnovers, while Thomas had a personal-best three ground balls and Duff had three caused turnovers.
The Hokies’ attack was extremely efficient, as they scored 14 goals on 21 shots.
Virginia (11-3, 4-1 ACC) will now take a week off before returning home to host its final regular season home contest on Tuesday against George Mason. Opening draw is slated for 7 p.m.