Wahoo Field Hockey Runs Win Streak to Eight

By: sports@newsplex.com
By: sports@newsplex.com

The No. 5 Virginia field hockey team shut out its second opponent in as many days, defeating No. 19 New Hampshire, 7-0, on Sunday at Turf Field.

The Cavaliers had two good looks at the goal early, but shots from Rachel Sumfest three minutes into the game and Carissa Vittese a minute later both sailed high. Elly Buckley broke the 0-0 deadlock nine minutes in. Buckley, positioned in the center of the circle, received a pass from Michelle Vittese and sailed it into the cage.

After the first goal, both teams played very evenly for the next twenty minutes. The Cavaliers took a 2-0 lead when Sumfest, strategically positioned at the right corner of the goal, tipped in a pass from Phoebe Willis with five minutes left in the half.

The Cavaliers drew a foul with 30 seconds left in the first half, setting up a penalty corner opportunity as time expired. On the perfectly executed corner, Paige Selenski inserted the ball, and then rushed over to the left post to get in position to take a pass from Buckley at the top of the circle. Selenski’s shot was on target to extend the lead to 3-0.

The second half was almost all Virginia, with the Cavaliers taking 15 shots to New Hampshire’s five. Sumfest scored her second goal of the game, taking a quick cross from Michelle Vittese and knocking it in seven minutes into the period. Vittese scored a goal of her own making, dribbling the ball around the defense, making her way to the left post, and pushing it past the keeper to put UVa up 5-0 five minutes later.

The Cavaliers final two goals, one by Elizabeth Hanks and one by Jess Orrett, came in the final ten minutes of the game. Both goals came after a missed shot deflected off the keeper’s pads with Hanks and Orrett getting control of the ball and flicking it into the goal.

“Today, I think we were able to move the ball well and create more than one option,” said head coach Michele Madison. “To play back-to-back games that composed and that structured was really good to see.”

The victory, which improved Virginia’s record to 13-2 (2-0 ACC), was the second shut out of the weekend for the squad. The Cavaliers defeated Yale, 4-0, on Saturday afternoon.

“We are really good at being able to get our heads down and really concentrating during the games,” said starting goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone.

Johnstone, who did not face a shot against Yale, had three saves against New Hampshire. All three Virginia goalies played in the New Hampshire game with Rebecca Holden and Amanda Crider both seeing time in the second half, but neither registering a save. New Hampshire’s goalkeeper Calie Tarbell had 12 saves.

It was the fifth time this season the Cavaliers have shut out their opponent. It was the first time since the two opening games of the 2010 season that Virginia had back-to-back games without surrendering a goal.

The Cavaliers, who are now a perfect 8-0 this season at home, have outscored opponents 51-11 at Turf Field. The victory also extended the team’s win streak to eight games.

Sumfest had two goals, giving her a season total of 10. Buckley’s goal was her 15th of the season. Selenski scored her ACC-leading 21st of the season. Hanks’ goal was her third of the season. Orrett’s goal was her first of the year.

The Cavaliers will play just one game next week, heading to Chapel Hill to face No. 2 North Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.

“North Carolina is one of the top teams in the country right now,” Madison said of the upcoming matchup between the top two teams in the ACC. “They can score like we can score. It is going to be a battle and I think the winner is going to be the team that makes the least amount of errors.”

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