CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia field hockey team opens the 2020 fall season by playing two home games this weekend, taking on Wake Forest (0-1) on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26-27, at Turf Field in Charlottesville, Va. Both games will start at 12 p.m.
Due to health and safety considerations in addition to the current guidelines established for sports venues by the Commonwealth of Virginia, attendance at UVA home competitions is limited to family of student-athletes and each team’s coaching staff until further notice. There is no public admission to these events and all tailgating in University parking lots is prohibited.
Gate will open 30 minutes prior to gametime.
- Sunday’s game will be televised on the ACC Network and stream online on ACCNX, which streams live through the ESPN app and is available through participating TV providers that carry ACCN
- Streaming will not be available for Saturday’s game
- Live stats be available for both games
- Links for both are posted on VirginiaSports.com
About the Match-up
- Saturday’s game is a non-conference contest. Sunday’s game will count toward the Atlantic Coast Conference standings
- Sunday’s game is the conference-opener for both teams
About the 2020-21 Season
- The Cavaliers will play a 10-game schedule in the fall, with six ACC contests and four non-conference contests against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents
- All seven ACC teams will compete at the Atlantic Coast Conference championships Nov. 5-8 at Duke
- The ACC is the only conference competing in field hockey in the fall
- On Tuesday, Sept. 22, the NCAA Division I council released the parameters for spring championships for the fall sports. Regular-season competition will be conducted Feb. 12-April 23. Selections would occur April 24.
- For the NCAA tournament, the bracket will consist of 12 teams: 10 automatic qualifiers and two at-large selections (normally, the bracket size for the championship is 16 teams). The semifinals and finals are scheduled for May 7-9
- NFHCA rankings will not be released in the fall
- Virginia has been picked to finish second in the preseason ACC Coaches’ poll
- Wake Forest is picked to finish seventh
Noting the Cavaliers
- Virginia is coming off a 2019 season that saw the team return to the NCAA semifinals for the first time since 2010 (fifth time overall after making back-to-back trips in 1997 and 1998 and again in 2009 and 2010)
- The Cavaliers finished 2019 strong, winning 10 of their last 12 games. Their losses were falling in overtime to Boston College, 1-0, in the semifinals of the ACC Championship, and the season-ending 2-1 loss to Princeton in the Final Four
- The Cavaliers had one of the stingiest defenses in the nation in 2019, ranking fifth in NCAA I by allowing just 1.06 goals per game. North Carolina is the only ACC team ranked higher with a 1.04 goals-against average
- Virginia had a league-high three players named to the 2020 Preseason All-ACC team, all three of whom are on the defense
- A pair of 2019 NFHCA All-American backs, senior Rachel Robinson (first team) and junior Amber Ezechiels (second team), both of whom were also all-conference players last season, earned the preseason accolade
- Junior goalkeeper Lauren Hausheer was also named to the preseason All-ACC team. This is her first time earning a conference accolade (other than a defensive player of the week nod)
- Hausheer had a conference-best 1.00 goals-against average last season, which ranked third in the nation. She was second in the ACC with a .744 save percentage, trailing only Sarah Dwyer of BC
- Robinson was named the 2019 ACC Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a junior. The kinesiology major has twice been named was the seventh player in program history to be named the ACC Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year, but the first to do so since Lori Mastropietro in 1998.
- Virginia has had 12 different players score goals last season. It was a well-rounded offense that did not have a single player in double-digits for goals scored
- The 2020 team returns three of the top four goal scorers: sophomore back Cato Geusgens (team-high eight goals last season) and strikers Laura Janssen (seven) and Makayla Gallen (six). Janssen had a team-best shooting percentage, scoring her seven goals on 18 shots (14 shots on goal)
This Week’s Opponents
- Wake Forest opened its season last week with a 3-1 loss in a non-conference tilt against North Carolina. Sophomore Nat Friedman scored the goal off a pass from junior Eleanor Winants
- The Deacons return 13 players from last year’s squad and welcome eight freshmen and a sophomore. They finished 2019 with a 9-11 overall record and an 0-6 conference mark
On the Horizon
- The Cavaliers have two more home games next weekend, hosting Syracuse on Friday, Oct. 2 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 4 at noon
- Friday’s game will be an ACC contest and will be televised on the ACC Network
- Friday’s game will be the belated season-opener for the Orange after having to postpone a series last weekend against Duke