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PHILADELPHIA – The No. 7 Virginia field hockey team (1-0, 0-0 ACC) opened the 2018 season with an 8-1 victory over Drexel (0-1, 0-0 CAA) on Friday (Aug. 24) in Philadelphia, Pa.
The Cavaliers held a 6-1 lead at halftime and outshot Drexel 26-4 in the game. Freshman Peyton Tollaksen (Chesapeake, Va.) scored Virginia’s first two goals of the season, including the game winner. Four freshmen scored six of the Cavaliers’ eight goals.
“It’s always good to start the season with a win and with everyone contributing to the cause,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. “We had no idea what to expect from Drexel except I knew they would be well coached.  After we settled in and ran the game plan, we aggressively moved the ball down the field and were able to finish on goal. If we keep doing our best, our best will get better.”
Tollaksen scored the first goal of the season for the Cavaliers, knocking a shot into the net 12:40 into the contest. Drexel countered four minutes later, scoring on a penalty corner to make it 1-1. Tollaksen put the Cavaliers back ahead with another unassisted goal midway through the period. Freshman Greer Gill (Virginia Beach, Va.) made it a 3-1 game less than a minute later. Sophomore Makayla Gallen (Glen Mills, Pa.) and junior Anzel Viljoen (Matamata, New Zealand) combined to score a goal off a penalty corner making it 4-1. Freshman Grace Wallis (Blue Bell, Pa.) scored the first of her two goals with five minutes remaining in the half. Senior Izzy McDonough (Kennett Square, Pa.) knocked in a feed from Gallen in the waning seconds of the period to give UVA a 6-1 advantage at the break.
After outshooting the Dragons 18-1 in the first half, the second half was a more evenly-matched period with UVA holding an 8-3 edge in shots and scoring a pair of goals. Freshman Amber Ezechiels (Nieuw-Vennep, Netherlands) scored her first career goal on an assist from Gill while Wallis netted her second of the game to make it an 8-1 final.
Drexel’s goalkeeping tandem of Kathryn Boyce and Alexis Sokach made a combined 10 saves. Redshirt senior Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) faced four Drexel shots.
The Cavaliers finish off the opening road trip by playing at No. 6 Penn State on Sunday, Aug. 26 at 12 p.m., in the Nittany Lions’ season-opener. Live streaming and live stats will be available through links posted on