CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 8 Virginia field hockey team (2-1, 0-0 ACC) begins conference play by hosting No. 10 Syracuse (3-0, 0-0 ACC) on Friday, Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. at Turf Field. The Cavaliers will close out the weekend with another top-25 match-up, hosting No. 21 Old Dominion (4-0, 0-0 Big East) on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.
Both games will air on ACC Network Extra, which is available to authenticated subscribers of ESPN3 through WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Fans can also keep up with the action through live stats linked at VirginiaSports.com.
The Cavaliers had a bye last Friday before taking on in-state foe Longwood last Sunday, picking up a 2-0 victory. It was the first shutout of the year for the team and the ninth career shutout for senior goalkeeper Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.). Freshman Grace Wallis (Blue Bell, Pa.) had a goal and an assist in the game, bringing her team-leading season points total to seven. Freshman Jacquelyn Wilkins (Louisville, Ky.) became the fifth rookie on the team to score a goal this season, netting the game-winner. Cavalier first-years have scored eight of UVA’s 10 goals this season.
Friday’s game against No. 10 Syracuse is the second top-10 showdown for the Cavaliers in just the third week of the season. UVA fell 1-0 at No. 6 Penn State in the opening weekend. Beginning with Friday’s game against Syracuse, UVA will face five-straight ranked opponents and seven of its next eight games are against teams currently ranked in the top-25.
Virginia and Syracuse were picked to finish in a tie for fourth place in the ACC this season. The Orange dominated their season opener, 4-1, against Vermont on Aug. 24 and shutout No. 21 Albany 1-0. They downed Stanford 2-1 in overtime in California last week. The Orange return 12 players from 2017’s 12-7 squad, including two-time NFHCA All-American Roos Weers and starting goalkeeper Borg van der Velde.
Old Dominion moved into the top-25 after opening the season with a four-game winning streak, three of which were shutouts. ODU owns wins over Michigan State, Kent State, No. 22 William & Mary and No. 17 James Madison. The Monarchs have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 10-3. Juniors Rebecca Birch and Erin Huffman were both named to the Preseason All-Big East team. Huffman led ODU last season with 12 goals.
Virginia is 5-3 all-time against Syracuse, but Old Dominion holds a 31-15 advantage in that series. The Cavaliers have won the last two meetings against both teams.
The Cavaliers are back on the road next week, playing at No. 2 North Carolina on Friday, Sept. 14 and No. 16 Liberty on Sunday, Sept. 16.
Admission is free for all of Virginia’s regular-season home field hockey games.