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Aug. 21, 2014

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia field hockey team defeated American, 7-2, in a preseason scrimmage on Thursday (Aug. 21) at Turf Field in Charlottesville, Va.

“We used the scrimmage to be able to see what was good, what was working for us and what we need to direct our attention to,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. “I think we will be looking to get more sharpness on attack and will be working on our defensive pressure. It is also huge that everyone who is healthy got some time. We were able to run through the whole team and get everyone some minutes.”

Virginia dominated on offense, outshooting American 24-10 including a 14-3 differential in the second half. Sophomores Riley Tata (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Katie Kelly (Phoenixville, Pa.) each scored a pair of goals. Sophomores Caleigh Foust (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) and Lucy Hyams (Whitstable, England) each scored a goal and contributed an assist. Sophomore Emilia Tapsall (Old Greenwich, Conn.) also scored for the Cavaliers. Freshman Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), one of two rookies in the starting lineup, added an assist.

American scored the first goal of the game, with Grace Wilson scoring on a penalty corner 1:51 seconds into the game, the first shot taken by either team. The Cavalier defense and the goalkeeping tandem of Jenny Johnstone (Paisley, Scotland) and Rebecca Holden (Fishing Creek, N.J.) kept American off the scoreboard through the rest of regulation. American scored its second goal two minutes into the scheduled seven-on-seven 10-minute overtime period. Johnstone, who played the first period, made one save. Holden played the second period and the overtime, stopping five shots on goal.

The Cavaliers, who were ranked as high as No. 4 last season, finished the 2013 season with a 15-6 record after suffering a 3-2 overtime loss to UMass in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The 2013 Patriot League Champion-Eagles (15-6) defeated Quinnipiac, 3-1, in its NCAA Play-In game to earn their eighth NCAA Tournament berth, finishing the year ranked 18th in the nation. This seaosn, American was voted the preseason favorite to repeat as the Patriot League champion.

Virginia returns three of its top four goal-scorers from last season, including Foust, Tata and Hyams, who was named the 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year after scoring five goals with 11 assists in her rookie campaign. Johnstone, the 2012 All-ACC goalkeeper, returns for her fourth season in the cage.

The Cavaliers also boast one of the top incoming freshman classes in the nation that includes U.S. Junior National Team veteran Vittese and a pair of international players in forward Emilie van Zinnicq Bergmann (Dordrecht, Netherlands) and Nadine de Koning (Laren, Netherlands).

The 2014 Virginia field hockey season officially gets underway on Friday, August 29 when the Cavaliers play at William & Mary. The Cavaliers’ first home game of the campaign will be on Sunday, Sept. 7 when they host Princeton at 11:30 a.m. The Princeton game is one of four contests during the regular season that will be streamed online as part of the Cavaliers Live subscription package through

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