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NORFOLK, Va. – Sophomore Tara Puffenberger tallied her first career hat trick as the third-ranked Virginia field hockey team (5-0) defeated No. 12 Ohio State 4-2 Saturday at the Powhatan Sports Complex in Norfolk, Va. Junior Michelle Vittese also scored in the winning effort while Elly Buckley and Paige Selenski each recorded assists.

The Cavaliers outshot Ohio State 12-7 for the contest but the Buckeyes (3-2) had a 4-3 advantage on penalty corners.

Virginia was first on the board after nice passing from freshmen Hadley Bell (Shaker Heights, Ohio) and Elly Buckley (Perth, Australia) led to Puffenberger’s first goal at 9:13.

Ohio State tied the game five minutes later when Aisling McKeon scored on a shot from the top of the circle.

Then, on UVa’s first penalty corner of the game, junior Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) put the Cavaliers out in front again. She put it past Ohio State keeper Ally Tunitis; Buckley was credited with the assist.

But the Buckeyes would again tie the contest at two just before halftime, scoring on a penalty corner of their own. Aisling Coyle recorded the goal with the assist to McKeon. It was tied 2-2 at the break.

Virginia came out strong in the second half when junior Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) fed Puffenberger (Dallas, Pa.) on a fast break for her second goal of the game.

Five minutes later, Puffenberger notched her third score, a career high, this time tipping in a cross from Buckley. It marked the second hat trick for Virginia this season; Selenski scored four times in the team’s 5-2 win over Old Dominion last Sunday.

Senior Kim Kastuk (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) came on to play the second half in the cage for Virginia, recording three saves. Junior Adrienne Ostroff (Blue Bell, Pa.) got the start and played the first half.

Virginia concludes its time in Norfolk with a 12 p.m. game against No. 9 Syracuse Sunday at the Powhatan Sports Complex.

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