No. 4 Virginia Set for Battle With No. 3 Princeton
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The fourth-ranked Virginia field hockey team (10-1) is set for another top-5 matchup when it plays host to third-ranked Princeton (8-1) at 6 p.m. Friday at the University Hall Turf Field. Free pizza and Pepsi products will be available while supplies last. Live stats will also be linked on VirginiaSports.com.
The Cavaliers, who are 5-1 against ranked opponents this season, are coming off a 2-0 victory over Longwood on Wednesday night. Junior Paige Selenski and sophomore Tara Puffenberger each scored for the Orange and Blue. Senior goalkeeper Kim Kastuk recorded five saves in a solid outing as the UVa defense notched its fifth shutout of the season.
Selenski continues to pace the Atlantic Coast Conference this season with a league-best 16 goals on the year, and ranks second in points (35) behind Maryland’s Katie O’Donnell (40). Selenski’s five game-winners also top the conference charts. Teammates Elly Buckley (seven goals) and Puffenberger (six) both rank on the top-10 list. Buckley’s six assists also lead the Cavaliers this season, a tie for fifth among conference players.
In the cage, Kastuk boasts a league-best .852 save percentage and ranks second with a 1.13 goals-against average. She has 46 saves on the year.
The Tigers (3-0 Ivy League) enter the contest after suffering their first loss of the season to No. 14 American, a 3-2 decision at home last weekend. Princeton will attempt to win over its third top-10 team of the season after already notching victories over then-No. 8 Syracuse on Sept. 19 (1-0) and an upset over then-top-ranked Maryland on Sept. 28 (4-2).
Junior Kathleen Sharkey, who leads the nation in goals with a tally of 19, paces Princeton offensively. Junior Katie Reinprecht (eight goals and eight assists) and sophomore Michelle Cesan (seven goals and five assists) also add depth to the Tigers’ attack. In goal, freshman Christina Maida has allowed only four goals through nine games. She has racked up 17 saves and a .810 save percentage.
The matchup marks the first time triplet sisters Rachel Jennings (Virginia) and Erin Jennings (Princeton) will play against each other. Their other sister, Tara, plays at Duke.
The Cavaliers and Tigers have split the all-time series 2-2. The last meeting resulted in a 2-1 Virginia victory in Charlottesville in 2004. The last Princeton victory came in 2003, a 3-1 home win for the Tigers. Both Virginia and Princeton have yet to win on the other team’s home turf.