Field hockey: No. 15 UVA falls 2-0 to No. 8 Louisville

uva field hockeyThe No. 15 UVA field hockey team (4-6, 1-3 ACC) suffered a 2-0 loss to No. 8 Louisville (8-3, 2-2 ACC) on Saturday (Sept. 29) at Turf Field in Charlottesville, Va.

Louisville made the most of its scoring opportunities, scoring its two goals on six shots. The Cavaliers took seven shots with Louisville’s Ayisha McFerran making five saves.

“I think Louisville’s pace of play got us out of our rhythm and off our tempo in the first half,” said head coach Michele Madison. “We made some adjustments positionally to put more pressure on their backs and we able to attack them. All week, we worked on getting the ball into the circle, getting sticks on the ground. The next step is getting to the balls in the circle and capitalizing on those opportunities.”

The Cavaliers had the first scoring opportunity of the game, drawing a penalty corner in the first three minutes, but they could not get off a shot. Freshman Peyton Tollaksen (Chesapeake, Va.) took back-to-back shots midway through the first half, but both the initial attempt and the second attempt after corralling the rebound were saved. The Cavaliers had a second penalty corner with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half, but McFerran tallied her third save on an attempt from sophomore Rachel Robinson (Mount Joy, Pa.).

The Cardinals were awarded a stroke midway through the first half, but the call was reversed after consulting the video review. Their scoring opportunity came in the final minute of the first half when they earned a penalty corner. Bethany Russ took a direct shot after the injection, with the ball sailing into the goal.

The Cardinals scored their second goal on a penalty corner three minutes into the second half. Katie Schneider knocked in a loose ball after the initial shot ricocheted of the far post to give Louisville its 2-0 advantage.

The Cavaliers pressured in the final 10 minutes with freshman Grace Wallis (Blue Bell, Pa.) firing off a shot and drawing a penalty corner after the save. Virginia then had back-to-back corners with a shot by junior Colleen Norair (Fredericksburg, Va.) blocked and a sweep by freshman Amber Ezechiels (Niew-Vennep, Netherlands) going wide. UVA pulled the goalie for the final 1:15, but could not get off a shot.

This was the Cavaliers’ fifth match this season against a top-10 team. It was also the second of three-straight games against top-10 teams, after falling 3-0 at North Carolina on Wednesday (Sept. 26). UVA travels to No. 4 Duke next Friday (Oct. 5), before returning home to host Miami (Ohio) on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. at Turf Field.

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