No. 3 Virginia Field Hockey Gears Up for ACC Championship
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The third-ranked Virginia field hockey team (15-2, 3-2 ACC) earned the No. 3 seed in the ACC Championship for the second straight year and will face No. 6 Duke at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Winston-Salem, N.C. The game will be webcast live by the ACC Network on www.theACC.com. That link as well as live statistics will be available at www.VirginiaSports.com.
The Cavaliers look to extend a four-game winning streak after dispatching Duke, 2-1, over the weekend in the regular season finale. Junior Paige Selenski opened the scoring on Saturday for the Cavaliers, and freshman Elly Buckley put home the game-winner off her own rebounded shot in the closing minutes.
Selenski leads the Cavaliers with 23 goals and seven assists for 52 points on the year. Buckley has proven to be a major contributor with a team-high 10 assists and 14 goals. Sophomore Tara Puffenberger adds eight goals and six assists.
Defensively, senior goalkeeper Kim Kastuk boasts a 1.27 goals against average and a .827 save percentage in the cage. Freshman Chloe Pendlebury has a league-best four defensive saves on the year.
Junior Michelle Vittese, who recently moved into the backfield, joined Selenski and Buckley on the 17-member all-conference team. It was the second consecutive year the Cavaliers have been represented by three student-athletes.
Duke is 8-10 on the year and finished 0-5 in the ACC. The Blue Devils’ last win came October 17 in Norfolk against Old Dominion (3-2 in overtime).
Freshman Emmie LeMarchand, a native of England, leads the Duke offense this season with eight goals and three assists for 19 points. In goal, senior Samantha Nelson has a 1.36 GAA and a .732 save percentage.
Virginia leads the all-time series with Duke, 28-15. The Cavaliers have claimed the last five meetings between the two teams, including both games in 2009. UVa won the regular season finale 2-1 before taking the ACC Tournament quarterfinal game, 3-1. Both contests were held in Charlottesville.
The winner of the Duke-Virginia game will advance to the semifinals and face No. 2 North Carolina at 6:30 p.m. Friday. That game will also be webcast online by the ACC.