Field Hockey: No. 12 UVA downs No. 16 Wake Forest, 4-2

uva field hockeyThe No. 12 UVA field hockey team (7-4, 2-1 ACC) earned a 4-2 victory over No. 16 Wake Forest (5-5, 0-4 ACC) on Friday (Sept. 30) at University Hall Turf Field in Charlottesville, Va.

Senior midfielder Lucy Hyams (Whitstable, England) scored two of the Cavaliers’ goals with junior midfielder Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) contributing a goal and an assist as the Cavaliers downed the Demon Deacons on a very rainy evening in Charlottesville.

“Our players came out ready to play today,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. “They followed the game plan. The whole team prepared well and we got a good result because of that. The rain and the weather presented an extra challenge, but it was something both teams had to deal with. You just have to play through it and with it, which I thought everyone out there managed to do.”

The game began in a gently mist but the rains steadily increased to a downpour early in the second half.

Sixteen minutes into the first half, Hyams found a head of steam and raced into the circle, smoking a shot into the net past the Wake Forest keeper to give UVA a 1-0 advantage.

The Demon Deacons tied the game 2:17 into the second half with Nicola Pluta converting a penalty stroke after being fouled right in front of the goal. Senior forward Caleigh Foust (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) put the Cavaliers back in the lead two minutes later. Sophomore Laura Schnatmeier (Bad Schwartau, Germany) hit a long cross into the circle, just out of Foust’s reach. Foust dove onto the turf while trying to get to the ball, the edge of her stick just making contact and deflecting the ball into the goal. Pluta had a chance to tie the game two minutes later when she was awarded her second penalty stroke of the game, but Lucas saved the shot, preserving UVA’s 2-1 advantage.

Vittese made it a 3-1 Cavalier lead after taking a penalty corner injection from freshman Anzel Viljoen (Matamata, New Zealand), dribbling the ball on her stick to create space and then taking a hard shot from the top of the circle.

Hyams scored the Cavaliers fourth goal with 15 minutes remaining. Vittese and Hyams raced into the circle with Vittese firing a perfect pass to Hyams, with the latter smashing the ball into the net past the Wake goalie.

Pluta scored on a penalty corner a minute later to make it a 4-2 game. Wake took just one shot in the final 12 minutes as the Cavaliers held on for the victory.

Lucas finished the game with five saves, including the stop on Wake’s second penalty stroke attempt. The Demon Deacons’ Cat O’Connor made seven saves.

This was the third-straight game in which Hyams scored a goal. She now has five goals on the season and a team-high 16 points. Vittese scored her team-leading sixth goal of the year.

Virginia closes out its current homestand by hosting No. 14 Old Dominion (5-3) on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. at Turf Field.

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