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No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Date and Time Friday, Sept. 4, 3 p.m.
Location Piscataway, N.J. | Bauer Track & Field Complex
Media BTN Network Live Streaming Video ($)
Additional Information Season Stats | 2015 Season Preview | 2015 Fact Book (.pdf)
Social Media Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Sept. 3, 2015

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 9 Virginia field hockey team (2-0) opens up its weekend road trip by playing at Rutgers (2-0) on Friday, Sept. 4 at 3 p.m. at Bauer Track & Field Complex in Piscataway, N.J.

The game will be streamed live online on BTN Plus as part of the BTN subscription package. Live stats will be available on

Virginia is ranked ninth in the preseason Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches Poll, the seventh-straight season the Cavaliers have been ranked in the preseason top-10. The first regular-season poll will be released on Tuesday, September 8.

The Cavaliers are looking to start the season 3-0 for the fifth time in the last seven years after sweeping the opening homestand. Virginia opened the season with a 6-0 shut out of Drexel in which UVa outshot the Dragons, 21-2. The Cavaliers also logged a 4-3 overtime victory over No. 7 Penn State.

Sophomore midfielder Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Week. Vittese scored the first goal of the season for the Cavaliers 2:19 into the Drexelgame and added two assists. On Sunday against No. 7 Penn State, Vittese scored the game-tying goal with 1:23 remaining. In overtime, she fired a shot that was saved but rebounded to freshman midfielder Nikki Freeman (Downington, Pa.), who scored the game winner. This is the third ACC Player of the Week honor Vittese has earned in her career.

Freeman’s overtime game-winner was the first goal of her career. Freshman striker Greta Ell (Plains, Pa.), the lone rookie in the Cavaliers’ opening-day starting lineup, scored a goal and added and assist in her collegiate debut.

Ell and Vittese are currently tied for the team points along with sophomore midfielder Emilie van Zinnicq Bergmann (Dordrecht, Netherland), with all three contributing six points this season. Van Zinnicq Bergmann tallied all six of her points in the Drexel game, scoring the first hat trick of her career.

New Jersey is the home state for two members of the Virginia starting lineup, Vittese and junior goalie Rebecca Holden (Fishing Creek, N.J.). Vittese finished her high school career at Camden Catholic with 166 goals, the fourth-most in South Jersey history and the sixth-highest prep career tally in the national record book.

Holden was a three-year starter in goal at Lower Cape May, leading the Caper Tigers to Cape-Atlantic League National Conference Division I titles in 2009 and 2010. While at Cape May, Holden logged 23 saves in a 3-2 upset of St. Joseph and 29 stops in a 2-2 tie with Egg Harbor Township. Holden is 2-0 in goal this season for the Cavaliers, with a .786 save percentage.

The UVa coaching staff also has strong New Jersey ties as Virginia head coach Michele Madison is a Rutgers alumna. Madison played goalie for the Scarlet Knights and was named the Scarlet Knights MVP in her senior season.

Virginia is 2-0 all-time against Rutgers, including a 4-3 overtime win last years in Charlottesville. This is the Cavaliers’ first trip to Piscataway.

Rutgers is looking for its first win over a ranked opponent since a 1-0 victory at No. 16 Drexel on Oct. 6, 2013. Since 2004, the Scarlet Knights have two victories over ranked opponents, the win over Drexel and a 3-2 win over No. 19 Albany on Aug. 24, 2012. RU will be looking for the highest ranked win in program history against the Cavaliers, in the team’s 18th game against a top-ten foe.

Rutgers is 2-0 this season after defeating Bucknell, 3-1, and Ball State, 4-0, last weekend. Nicole Imbriaco and Rachel Yaney led the Scarlet Knights’ offensively, each scoring two goals apiece, with Ali Stever, Kelly Hanna and Devon Fresnock also tallying goals. Freshnock was also was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

The Cavaliers finish off the Garden State road trip by playing at No. 15 Princeton on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed online as part of the Ivy League Digital Network subscription package.

The Cavaliers will be on the road again next weekend, playing at Louisville and Miami (Oh.) before returning home on Friday, Sept. 18 to host No. 5 Duke at 6 p.m. at Turf Field.

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