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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The third-ranked Virginia field hockey team topped in-state foe VCU 8-1 Friday in the 2011 season opener at the University Hall Turf Field. Sophomore Elly Buckley and junior Britt Knouse each scored twice in the winning effort.

Virginia’s eight goals are the most in a season opener under sixth-year head coach Michele Madison and the most in an any opener since the Cavaliers defeated Bucknell 8-2 in the first game of the 2004 season.

“We were looking to establish the game plan early and that’s what we did,” Madison said. “We wanted to set our structure and play our game. When we did that, we did it well and we were able to move the ball. It was a nice way to open up the season on our new field.”

Virginia scored its first goal just 57 seconds into the contest when freshman Jess Orrett crossed the ball over to Knouse, who deflected it in for an early 1-0 lead. It was then Orrett who notched a score just over five minutes into the game on a penalty corner opportunity; Buckley assisted on the play. The Cavaliers marched right back down the field and Knouse scored her second goal 19 seconds later for a 3-0 UVa advantage.

Sophomore Carissa Vittese converted a penalty stroke for her first career goal at 27:14. Buckley followed with her first score of the game on another penalty corner, assisted by senior Rachel Jennings and sophomore Lane Smith.

VCU scored its lone goal just before the half on a penalty corner of its own. Kelsey Scherrer put it past UVa starter Adrienne Ostroff on assists from Meg Neylon and Stephanie DeMasi. It proved to be the only shot of the game for the Rams.

“There is still a ton of stuff we need to work on too,” Madison said. “There’s only so much you can do every preseason. The things you don’t do show up for sure and those are the things we have to attack now. VCU played very hard.”

Freshman Rachel Sumfest opened the second half with her first career goal 2:18 into the period. Knouse made a solid pass from the right side over to Sumfest, sitting on the left post, who scored for a 6-1 lead.

Buckley scored for the second time on an unassisted goal at 45:39 and sophomore Hadley Bell rounded out the scoring on another penalty corner.

For the contest, the Cavaliers outshot the Rams 24-2 and recorded 10 penalty corners to VCU’s two.

Ostroff and freshman goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone both split time in the cage for the Cavaliers. Senior goalkeeper Erin Joblonski tallied nine saves in goal for VCU.

Virginia continues its season-opening homestand with a 1 p.m. game Sunday against No. 8 Penn State.

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