Third-Ranked Cavaliers Shut Out Saint Joseph's in Season Opener
PHILADELPHIA– The third-ranked Virginia field hockey team (1-0) shut out Saint Joseph’s 4-0 Saturday in the season opener. Junior Paige Selenski scored twice for the Cavaliers while newcomers Elly Buckley and Liza Blue each notched their first career goals.
Virginia outshot the Hawks (0-1) 34-9 for the contest; Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) led the way with 14 shots while Buckley had seven. The Cavaliers also had a 13-5 advantage on penalty corners, including nine in the second half alone. The UVa defense did not allow a St. Joe’s penalty corner in the final stanza.
“There were some things that were good today,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison, who coached her 450th career game. “With Paige and Michelle (Vittese) just coming back, it is going to take some time before we get into our routine. We were forcing some things today, but once we play a few more games, we will be more comfortable with each other.”
Virginia got on the board just 2:19 into the contest when Selenski notched her first goal from the right side on a pass from classmate Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J). The Cavaliers made it 2-0 four minutes later, converting on their first penalty corner opportunity. Senior Kaitlyn Hiltz (Virginia Beach, Va.) injected the ball out to classmate Taylor Swezey (Ambler, Pa.), who set it in front of Buckley. Buckley (Perth, Australia) connected on the shot near the top of the circle.
“To score on your first shot of the season and first corner of the season is always positive,” Madison said. “We have to build on that. We created a lot of scoring opportunities today. There were people in position anticipating the ball.”
Blue made it 3-0 in the 22nd minute. Congested in front of the cage, Tara Puffenberger (Dallas, Pa.) found Blue (Butler, Md.), who was able to create some room to take the shot. It was 3-0 in favor of the Cavaliers at halftime.
Virginia outshot the Hawks 21-3 in the second half and scored on a penalty corner. Selenski scored her second goal of the game on an assist from Swezey.
St. Joe’s goalkeeper Kelly Swanick tallied 14 saves in the contest, nine of which came in the second half. Among Swanick’s saves was a penalty stroke opportunity taken by Vittese.
Junior Adrienne Ostroff (Blue Bell, Pa.) recorded three saves in the first half in the cage for Virginia. Senior Kim Kastuk (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) also tallied three saves in the second half.
The Cavaliers continue their road swing in the state of Pennsylvania with a 12 p.m. game Sunday at No. 18 Penn State.
“They had a good result against Old Dominion,” Madison said of the Nittany Lions. “At this point in the season it’s not about the opponent, it’s more about us. We are going to need to establish our game plan early.”