It wasn't easy but the No. 5 Virginia field hockey team improved to 5-0 on the season with a 2-1 shootout victory over winless Richmond Wednesday.
“We knew Richmond was going to be really desperate to win,” said head coach Michele Madison. “We weren’t able to stop their big ball through the middle of the field. It took us awhile to adjust to that. Credit to them, they kept throwing different defenses at us. [Richmond goalie Anna Zarkoski] had 17 saves, so we definitely had some attack on, but we weren’t able to put it away.”
Knotted 1-1 after regulation, the two teams played through two scoreless 15-minute overtime periods before going to a shootout. After freshman Caleigh Foust scored on UVa’s second penalty shot, Richmond’s Rebecca Barry answered. After three more misses per team, the two squads were knotted 1-1, forcing sudden death penalty shots.
Richmond shot first in sudden death, missing the first shot. Virginia also faltered on its first attempt. After a second Richmond miss, senior Carissa Vittese dribbled around Richmond’s goalie, creating enough space to get the ball into the net in the eight-second time frame and give the Cavaliers the 2-1 victory.
It was the third overtime loss of the season for Richmond (0-4), its first in a shootout.
Virginia’s goal in regulation came 23:56 into the game when freshman Lucy Hyams picked up a rebound off the goalie’s pads and knocked it into the goal. Barry tied the game, 1-1, a minute and a half later, dribbling around the top of the circle and firing off a hard shot from the left side.
Virginia Goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone logged nine saves, including two in the first overtime period. Neither team’s goalie recorded a save in the second OT.
“It was a very tough game,” Johnstone said. “Shootouts are incredibly stressful. You just need to go out and forget everything else and take every save as it comes. Their keeper had a great game. Watching her make saves and then knowing I had to come out and make a save as well put extra pressure on.”