Buckley Guides No. 4 UVa Past Liberty

The No. 4 Virginia field hockey team earned its second-straight shut out, blanking Liberty 2-0 Sunday in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Virginia improved to 11-1 with the win.

“Today, the defense did a great job of getting the ball out of the circle,” said head coach Michele Madison. “They are coming together and working really well building the dynamic of team defense.”

Senior forward Elly Buckley scored both of the goals for the Cavaliers. Junior goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone made one save in the team’s fourth shutout of the season and the second of the weekend including Friday’s 3-0 victory at Wake Forest.

The score was knotted, 0-0, until Buckley took a hard shot on goal that deflected off the pads of the Liberty goalkeeper. Buckley rounded up the rebound and fired off a second shot, breaking the deadlock 23 minutes into the second half.

Liberty, trailing by a goal with five minutes remaining in the game, pulled its goalkeeper to add an extra attacker. Virginia quickly got the ball down into the attack zone and earned a penalty corner opportunity. Buckley converted the chance, firing off a shot past the line of defenders and into the empty net to give UVa an insurance goal with three minutes left in the game. Liberty put the goalkeeper back into the game on the reset after the goal.

Freshman Lucy Hyams notched her fifth assist of the week. Senior Chloe Pendlebury also had an assist with a stick-stop on the short-corner goal.

“The team was tested in a different way today,” Madison said. “We came up against a team that was very aggressive and very physical. We didn’t quite have our A-game in the first half. The team really dug deep and got their composure back to establish some momentum.”

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