SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The 5-seed Virginia field hockey team (12-7) eliminated top-seeded Louisville (16-3) from the 2021 ACC Field Hockey Championship with a 2-1 shootout victory on Friday (Nov. 5) in a semifinal game played at J.S. Coyne Stadium in Syracuse, N.Y.
Virginia advances to Sunday’s championship match where they will face 3-seed North Carolina (12-6). That game begins at 12 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Cavaliers came out firing, outshooting Louisville 9-2 in the first half. Virginia’s focused attack paid off in the second quarter when UVA was awarded a penalty stroke. Grad student Rachel Robinson took the stroke, shooting the ball into the upper corner of the net with 7:06 remaining in the half to give UVA a 1-0 lead.
Louisville went hard on the attack in the third quarter but still could not cross the goal plane. They finally struck paydirt five minutes into the fourth quarter, scoring on a penalty corner.
Virginia seemed to re-take the lead with 4:36 remaining in the game when a shot by Robinson went into the cage, but the play was reviewed and the goal overturned because of obstruction.
In the first overtime, Virginia had a prime opportunity when a Louisville player was given a yellow card with 5:06 remaining in the period, giving UVA a 6-on-5 advantage. The player-up edge only lasted two minutes as a Cavalier received a yellow card with 3:17 remaining in the first OT. Louisville’s Aimee Plumb took a hard shot at the goal with 1:39 remaining, but freshman goalkeeper Tyler Kennedy knocked away the attempt with her glove.
Neither team managed a shot in the second overtime, forcing the shootout.
Virginia went up 2-1 in the strokes, but Louisville came back to tie it at 3-3. Both teams made their fifth attempt to send it to sudden death. Louisville shot first in the extra strokes, with Kennedy stopping an attempt by Charlie van Oirschot. Junior Laura Janssen, who had made UVA’s first attempt in the initial shootout, was first on the line again for the Cavaliers, converting her attempt to win the game.
- Virginia held a 16-8 advantage in shots
- This was the Cavaliers’ first shootout of the season
- Tyler Kennedy had four saves
- Mila de Kujer had seven saves for Louisville
- Rachel Robinson’s goal was her third of the season and her second of the ACC Championship
- Virginia is ranked No. 14 in the NFHCA Coaches Poll. Louisville is No. 4
- Virginia is looking for its second ACC title. The team won its only championship in 2016. That year, UVA was the six seed in the tournament, becoming the lowest-ever seed to win the ACC Field Hockey Championship
- Louisville won the regular-season meeting at Louisville 1-0 (Sept. 17)
- Virginia and North Carolina played one another in the final game of the regular season on Oct. 29 with UNC winning 3-2 in overtime
- Virginia has won five of its last six games, its only loss being the overtime setback against North Carolina
FROM HEAD COACH MICHELE MADISON
“We told them the first day that in order to win a championship, we’re gonna have to win an overtime and a shootout. And then at the end of the season, we realized that we were only losing our overtimes. So we were like, let’s practice overtime. So we practiced overtimes and shootouts and then when it came to today, I think they felt prepared and confident and they took care of business.
“There were so many monster performances, and that’s what it takes to win a game like that to get into a championship game. I’m just proud of the whole team! That monster performances on the sideline, how they cheer and back their teammates. We have the best locker room in the nation.”
Check out the highlights from the ACC Semifinal win against Louisville