CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The third-ranked Virginia field hockey team (17-3) advanced in the NCAA Tournament with a 3-2 overtime victory over No. 11 Michigan State Saturday at the University Hall Turf Field. Freshman Elly Buckley notched the game-winner, one of her two goals on the day, while junior Paige Selenski also scored.
The Cavaliers will face Princeton at 2 p.m. Sunday for the right to move on to the NCAA semifinals.
Virginia and Michigan State battled through six minutes of sudden victory overtime before Buckley (Perth, Australia) scored in the 77th minute. After a foul and a quick reset, Buckley drove into the middle of the circle and put it past Michigan State’s Molly Cassidy.
“We expected it to be heartfelt game,” Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. “Michigan State put together a game plan they knew we didn’t like, and it almost worked for them.”
For the game, Virginia outshot the Spartans 22-9. Michigan State led in penalty corners, 5-4.
Virginia scored early in the first half when the Cavaliers were awarded a penalty stroke. Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) took the stroke and converted just 8:33 into the contest for a 1-0 advantage.
The Spartans came to tie it less than two minutes later when Angie Lucik notched her first goal of the season after a rebounded shot of the left post. Michigan State then took the lead in the 30th minute, shortly before half, when Sabine van den Assem scored on a penalty corner, assisted by Joelle van Ierland and Lucik.
MSU led 2-1 at the break.
In the second half, Buckley began a Virginia comeback with an unassisted drive from the middle of the circle. Her first score came in the 45th minute and the two teams played the final 15 minutes without a goal, sending it to overtime.
“One of our objectives was to shoot, shoot, and shoot more,” Madison continued. It’s a good thing we did because we needed all those shots to get three goals. Their goalie played a really good game. She was pretty significant.”
Michigan State was awarded a penalty corner and sent the ball into the back of the net, but it was called back for being too high. Minutes later, Buckley scored the game-winner for the Cavaliers.
“In overtime, once they left out of the huddle and we gave them new instruction, they just got a new life,” Madison said. “When they stepped on the field I could tell they were getting ready to play a new game. Their backs were against the wall and they had to dig deep, and they did it.”
Virginia goalkeeper Kim Kastuk (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) tallied four saves in the win, while Molly Cassidy finished with 12 for the Spartans.
Michigan State ends the season with a mark of 15-6.