CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Virginia field hockey team (9-9, 2-4 ACC) was eliminated from the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Championship with a 5-1 semifinal loss to No. 1 North Carolina (18-0, 6-0 ACC) on Friday (Nov. 2) at Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.
North Carolina scored three goals in the first half, all coming in the first twelve minutes of the game, to take an early lead, and added two more in the first portion of the second half. Junior Anzel Viljoen (Matamata, New Zealand) scored the lone goal for Cavaliers.
“North Carolina is undefeated and the number one team in the country and today they displayed why that is true,” said head coach Michele Madison. “They are playing really well. Kudos to them for the game they brought today. We had hoped to stick to parts of our game plan that would have offset some of that attack, but it didn’t work. Our defense was under extreme pressure the entire game and came up with a lot of big plays. The corner defense, the goalkeeping, the back line played really well. Hopefully the NCAA committee recognizes the work we have done to finish out the season and gives us another game to take the lessons we learned today into the NCAA tournament.”
North Carolina scored its first goal four minutes into the game on a second-chance shot. The Tar Heels added two more goals while the Cavaliers were a player down after a yellow card was issued, making it a 3-0 advantage 11:32 into the game. The Cavaliers’ lone shot of the first half came from an attack by freshman Grace Wallis (Blue Bell, Pa.) midway through the period.
In the second half, the Tar Heels added another two goals in the first 18 minutes of the period to take a 5-0 lead.
Virginia scored its goal with 6:13 remaining. The Cavaliers were awarded their first penalty corner of the game with freshman Amber Ezechiels (Niew-Vennep, Netherlands) taking a shot from the top of the circle. The attempt was saved, but the ball ricocheted off the goalie’s pads over to Viljoen, who smacked the ball in for the score.
Senior goalkeeper Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) made eight saves. Sophomore back Rachel Robinson (Mount Joy, Pa.) made her second defensive save of the ACC tournament. Viljoen’s goal was her second of the season.
North Carolina held a 24-3 edge in shots and 10-1 edge in penalty corners.
Lucas and junior Colleen Norair (Fredericksburg, Va.) were named to the All-ACC Tournament Team.
The NCAA Selection Show will stream live online on NCAA.com on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 10 p.m. The Cavaliers are looking to earn an at-large bid to give them their 23rd trip to NCAA Championship and their 11th in head coach Michele Madison’s 13 seasons at Virginia.