SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The 5-seed Virginia field hockey team (12-8) lost 1-0 against 3-seed North Carolina (13-6) in the final of the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Championship on Sunday (Nov. 7) in Syracuse, N.Y.

Senior Amber Ezechiels and grad students Makayla Gallen and Rachel Robinson were named to the All-ACC Tournament Team.


Virginia jumped out to a quick start with Gallen taking the first shot 36 seconds into the game, but it would end up being one of just five taken by the two teams combined in the scoreless first half.

ACC Offensive Player of the Year Erin Matson broke the deadlock in the third quarter, deflecting in an initial shot off a penalty corner into the upper corner of the net five minutes into the third quarter. Virginia appeared to tie the game four minutes into the fourth when senior striker Annie McDonough dribbled along the baseline and then sent a hard pass to Adele Iacobucci in front of the net with the latter deflecting the shot into the goal. North Carolina challenged the play and video review ruled that McDonough had gone out of bounds before she made the pass and the goal was waived off.

Head coach Michele Madison pulled the Cavalier goalie with 4:12 remaining to give the Cavaliers an extra attacker, but the Carolina defense held on for the victory.


  • Virginia held a 5-4 edge in shots
  • UNC scored on its only shot on goal
  • This is Virginia’s eighth time playing in the championship game, Michele Madison’s third time playing for the title. She was the runner-up in 2009 in addition to the 2016 championship
  • This is the first time any of the players on the team have played for the title. The three fifth-years were part of the regular-season champion team in 2017 


“We said to have no regrets and we have no regrets. It’s always great to have an opportunity to win a championship, but in a championship game, you have to put it away. I am proud of how we have played the last few weeks of the season, and of our wins against Syracuse, Boston College and Louisville. I feel this is a team that deserves to be in the NCAA tournament.”


  • The 2021 NCAA Field Hockey Selection Show streams online on on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 10 p.m.
  • Virginia is looking to make its 25th trip to NCAA Championship and the 13th in head coach Michele Madison’s 16 seasons at Virginia


All-ACC Tournament Team (Makayla Gallen, Amber Ezechiels and Rachel Robinson far right)