No. 3 Virginia Defeats No. 18 Penn State 3-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The third-ranked Virginia field hockey team (2-0) recorded its second consecutive shutout in a 3-0 victory over No. 18 Penn State Sunday in University Park, Pa. Juniors Michelle Vittese and Paige Selenski each notched goals while freshman Elly Buckley also tallied a score.
The Cavaliers outshot Penn State 19-10 for the game, including a 12-3 margin in the first half alone. Both teams took eight penalty corners; the Nittany Lions (1-1) had seven to Virginia’s two in the second half, but the Cavalier defense was able to hold tough. UVa goalkeeper Kim Kastuk (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) recorded five saves.
“Our defense played really well,” Kastuk said. “I felt like there was a progression from yesterday to today which is very encouraging. The communication was there and our corner defense came up big. This weekend was a positive one; we grew as a unit and we are excited to build on it.”
Virginia got on the board in the 13th minute, scoring for the second straight game on its first penalty corner opportunity. Senior Haley Carpenter (Virginia Beach, Va.) injected the ball into classmate Taylor Swezey (Ambler, Pa.). Swezey set it up nicely for Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) who flicked it past Penn State goalkeeper Ayla Halus for a 1-0 UVa lead.
The Cavaliers made it 2-0 nearly 10 minutes later on another penalty corner. Again, Carpenter and Swezey teamed up to assist Buckley (Perth, Australia) on a shot near the top of the circle. It was Buckley’s second goal on the weekend.
Virginia led 2-0 at half and struck quickly to open the second stanza. Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) intercepted a past and beat the Penn State defense before goal low past Halus for the score. It was Selenski’s third goal of the weekend.
“Our early start in both halves is critical against an explosive team like Penn State,” Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. “We were able to establish our passing game and it paid dividends. Twenty players got significant experience in two very different competitive situations. The team did some things very well and of course Penn State exposed other areas we have to work on.”
Penn State’s Amy Kelsey led the Nittany Lions with four shots while Halus finished with 10 saves in the cage.
Virginia is off until next Sunday (Sept. 5) when the Cavaliers welcome Old Dominion for its home opener. The Cavaliers and Monarchs will play at 1 p.m. at the University Hall Turf Field.