Oct. 29, 2017
NORFOLK, Va. – The No. 4 Virginia field hockey team (15-3, 5-1 ACC) finished out the regular season by picking up a 4-2 victory at Old Dominion (8-9, 5-2 Big East) on Sunday (Oct. 29) in Norfolk, Va.
The Cavaliers scored all four of their goals in a dominant first half during which UVA outshot ODU 15-2. In the second half, the Monarchs held a 6-5 edge in shooting and scored a pair of goals.
Virginia had four different players score, including midfielder Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) who netted the game winner.
Virginia heads into the post season with a 15-3 record.
“This game was a tale of two halves,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. “In the first half, we played very well. We kept to the plan of using simple passes with some good ball movement by everyone on the field. The second half was a better battle for both teams. I commend out team on how they prepared themselves and did not look past Old Dominion. The team is very excited for the ACC tournament and hungry for the postseason to start. Now we can focus on that.”
Virginia got off to a hot start with Vittese converting a feed from freshman midfielder Pien Dicke (Den Haag, Netherlands) 6:05 into the contest. Sophomore midfielder Colleen Norair (Fredericksburg, Va.) added a second score 1:27 later, finding a loose ball in front of the net and popping it into the cage to make it 2-0, which prompted a quick Old Dominion time out. The Monarch defense tightened up and kept the Cavaliers off the scoreboard until freshman forward Makayla Gallen (Glen Mills, Pa.) deflected in a shot from sophomore forward Erin Shanahan (Pasadena, Md.) after a penalty corner to make it a 3-0 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the half. Junior midfielder Greta Ell (Plains, Pa.) made it a 4-0 game three minutes later, striking a loose ball into the back of the net.
Both teams went scoreless through the first twenty minutes of the second half, until the Monarch’s Julia Demeester tapped in a goal with 15 minutes remaining, her first of the season. Erin Huffman added another Monarch goal, taking a hard on-target shot from the top of the circle, with under five minutes to play.
UVA finished the game with a 20-8 shot advantage and a 5-3 edge in penalty corners. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) made one save. Old Dominion’s goalkeepers, Lacey Frazier and Kealsie Robles, combined for seven saves.
The postseason begins next week at the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, which will be held Nov. 2-5 in Louisville. The Cavaliers are the top seed in the tournament and will begin play with a semifinal match on Friday, Nov. 3 at 12 p.m. against either Wake Forest or North Carolina. The ACC Championship match is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. All of the games of the tournament will be broadcast live on the ACC Regional Sports Networks. Virginia is the defending ACC champion and is looking for its second title in program history.