UVa Hits the Road for Three Non-Conference Matchups
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia field hockey team (5-7, 0-2 ACC) is set to face three non-conference opponents over four days this week, beginning with UC Davis at 3 p.m. Thursday Spring City, Pa. The Cavaliers will then take on Princeton at 7 p.m. Friday and fourth-ranked Connecticut at 11 a.m. Sunday in Princeton, N.J.
Virginia is coming off a 6-3 loss to defending NCAA champion and third-ranked Maryland last Friday night in College Park, Md. On the year, sophomore Elly Buckley leads the offense with a team-best eight goals and five assists. Classmate Carissa Vittese has contributed five goals while freshman Rachel Sumfest adds four scores. In goal, freshman Jenny Johnstone has tallied 41 saves in 12 games.
After postponing three games and cancelling another, UC Davis is 2-6 (1-1 NorPac) on the season. The Aggies’ most recent match-up against conference opponent and No. 8 Stanford resulted in a 3-1 loss. Cloey LemMon notched UC Davis’ only score in the game, putting her at two goals for the season. Emily Mecke leads the offense with three goals while teammate Kristen Lopez has four assists. Goalkeepers Lauren Sawvelle (26 saves) and Conley Craven (28) have split time in the cage.
This will be Virginia’s first meeting with UC Davis.
Princeton is 4-5 on the year (2-1 Ivy League) and topped conference rival Columbia 3-2 in double overtime last weekend. The Tigers also played at Maryland last week, falling to the Terps, 6-2. Sydney Kirby paces Princeton with a team-best five goals and five assists. Allison Evans also contributes four goals and two assists while goalkeeper Christina Maida has a 2.61 goals against average and 29 saves on the year.
The Virginia-Princeton matchup will mark the third time triplet sisters Rachel (Virginia) and Erin (Princeton) Jennings will play against each other.
The Cavaliers lead the all-time series with Princeton, 4-2. Virginia has claimed the last three meetings, including two wins last season during both the regular season and the NCAA Tournament.
Connecticut, ranked No. 4 nationally, also comes in at No. 2 in the latest national RPI ratings. The Huskies are 10-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big East Conference; their lone loss came at home to Boston College, a 3-1 defeat. UConn has won four in a row since the BC loss and most recently is coming off a 4-2 victory at home vs. No. 17 Louisville and a 1-0 win at Yale last week. The Huskies will take on Georgetown Friday in Washington, D.C., before facing UVa on Sunday.
Chloe Hunnable leads the UConn offense this season with a team-best nine goals while three more teammates – Marie Elena Bolles, Jestine Angelini and Ali Blankmeyer – have each contributed six scores. In the cage, Sarah Mansfield boasts a 0.91 goals against average and a .778 save percentage to go along with 35 saves.
Virginia and Connecticut have met twice before, with the Huskies holding a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series. The last meeting came in the first round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament. Connecticut slighted Virginia, 2-1, to advance.