Paige Selenski had her third hat trick of the season, lifting the Virginia field hockey team to a 6-1 victory over Miami (Ohio) Saturday at the University Hall Turf Field.
The Cavaliers jumped on the RedHawks early, taking a 2-0 lead in the first ten minutes of the contest. Elizabeth Hanks took the first shot of the game at 6:34 into the game, taking a feed from Michelle Vittese and knocking it into the right corner of the net.
Two minutes later, Paige Selenski and Rachel Sumfest got out ahead of a trailing pack of Miami players, passing the ball back and forth across the field. Sumfest had the ball on the right corner of the goal and a good look, but she declined the shot, passing instead to Selenski on the left who had wide open net in front of her, putting it in for the easy score.
The 2-0 score held through the first half. Selenski added the Cavalier’s third goal less than two minutes into the second half, taking a deflection off the goalie’s leg pad and knocking it into the goal.
Miami scored their goal at the 48:34 mark off a penalty corner. Miami undid that progress seven minutes later when an errant shot by Elly Buckley deflected off a Miami defender into the goal, giving the Cavaliers an “own goal” and a 4-1 lead.
Selenski took a hard shot on goal with seven minutes left in the game. The ball was batted away in the air by the RedHawk goalkeeper, but Phoebe Willis, perfectly positioned in the corner of the goal, knocked the ball back into the goal to put Virginia up 5-1. With less than a minute remaining, Selenski added a sixth Cavalier goal, and her third of the contest, dribbling past three defenders to set up a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, shooting the ball into the net.
“The team followed the game plan, which was good,” said head coach Michele Madison. “I think they overcomplicated it a little at the end of the first half, but we regrouped again at halftime and were able to reestablish the momentum again.”
Selenski, who leads the nation in points per game (5.0) and is third in goals per game (1.83), had her third hat trick of the season. She is now tied for third in the Cavalier record book with seven career hat tricks.
“I thought we played well today and really moved the ball pretty well,” Selenski said. “I think we just play really well at home. We are used to our field. It’s a great field. I think what is great about our team is we have so much depth and so many people who can rotate in and out and give people breaks so we can have fresh legs out there all the time.
Hanks scored her second goal of the season. Willis’ goal was the first goal of her career.
Jenny Johnstone played the first half in goal. Rebecca Holden played the second half in the goal, allowing one goal with one save.
Prior to the start of the game, Madison was honored in a special pregame ceremony recognizing her 300th career win. Madison won the 300th game of her coaching career with the Cavaliers' 5-4 victory over No. 3 Old Dominion on Sept. 2. Madison is just the 26th head coach in NCAA Division I history to hit the 300 win mark. She currently ranks tenth among active coaches in career wins. She won 56 games in four seasons at Temple, 155 games in 13 seasons at Michigan State, and 91 games so far in her seven seasons at UVa.
“It is such a great achievement for Michelle Madison,” Vittese said. “She is fabulous. She is one of the best coaches I have ever had. She is very personable. It makes it feel like a family. Playing for her is an honor and such a gift and I was so glad I was able to spend four years here with her.”
The game was also part of National Field Hockey Day, an initiative from USA Field Hockey to help increase awareness of field hockey and inspire participation nationwide.
With the win, the Cavaliers improve to 7-2 and will play their first conference game of the season this coming weekend, taking on Boston College on the road on Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.