Field hockey: No. 8 UVA tops No. 10 Syracuse in 2OTs
The Cavaliers weathered two overtime periods and a 45-minute lightning delay to pick up a victory in their first ACC contest of the year. Freshman Greer Gill (Virginia Beach, Va.) scored the game winner 2:48 into the second overtime with fellow first-year Grace Wallis (Blue Bell, Pa.) providing the assist, her second of the game.
“The ACC season has officially started,” said head coach Michele Madison. “Every single play matters. Every attack. Every defense. Every player on the field. Both teams were just gutting it out tonight. I think it was a great game for our fans and for the team.”
The game started with an even attack, with Syracuse taking three shots and Virginia two, when the contest was stopped with 15:51 remaining in the first half because of lightning in the area. After a 45-minute delay, play resumed with each team taking another two shots before halftime.
The second half was also evenly matched, with Syracuse taking eight shots to Virginia’s seven. The Orange had a good look at the goal with 16:45 remaining, but senior Nikki Freeman (Downington, Pa.) blocked the shot to keep the score knotted at zero. Syracuse scored its goal on its fifth penalty corner of the second half, with Laura Graziosi dribbling the ball after a pass from the stopper and then knocking it cleanly into the net. The Cavaliers answered moments after the restart with Wallis sending a pass to sophomore Makayla Gallen (Glen Mills, Pa.) in front of the net and Gallen hitting it in for the score, tying the game at 1-1 with 6:27 remaining. Junior Erin Shanahan (Pasadena, Md.) was the only player for either team to get off a shot in the remainder of regulation.
In the first overtime period, Virginia had a player receive a yellow card 2:03 into the extra period, giving Syracuse a five-on-six advantage. The edge did not last long as an Orange player earned a yellow card two minutes later, making it five-on-five. Syracuse had a chance with a penalty corner with just over two minutes remaining, but the shot went wide.
In the second overtime, Syracuse’s Carolin Hoffman took a shot, but senior goalkeeper Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) stopped the shot. After the save, Virginia got the ball up ahead on a fast break, with Wallis entering the circle and passing across to Gill who tucked the ball into the net to end the game.
Gill and Gallen each scored their second goals of the season. Wallis leads the team with nine points on three goals and three assists.
Lucas made nine saves, matching her season high. Syracuse’s Borg van der Velde made seven saves.
The Cavaliers will close out the weekend with another top-25 match-up, hosting No. 21 Old Dominion (4-0, 0-0 Big East) on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. The game will air on ACC Network Extra, which is available to authenticated subscribers of ESPN3 through WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Fans can also keep up with the action through live stats linked at VirginiaSports.com.
Admission is free for all of Virginia’s regular-season home field hockey games.