Field hockey: UVA advances to ACC semifinals with a 1-0 victory over Boston College

uva field hockeyThe UVA field hockey team (9-8, 2-4 ACC) opened the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Championship with a 1-0 win over Boston College (10-9, 2-4 ACC) on Thursday (Nov. 1) at Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Cavaliers will next face top-seeded host-school North Carolina (17-0, 6-0 ACC) on Friday, Nov. 2 at 12 p.m. in the semifinals.

Junior Colleen Norair (Fredericksburg, Va.) scored the lone goal of the game 8:26 into the second half. Boston College outshot the Cavaliers 18-9, including an 8-3 advantage in the first half, but the Cavaliers’ resilient defense held on for the shutout. Senior goalkeeper Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) matched her season high with nine saves. Two Cavalier backs, freshman Annie McDonough (Kennett Square, Pa.) and sophomore Rachel Robinson (Mount Joy), also made defensive saves.

“It’s a good day to be a Wahoo,” said head coach Michele Madison. “This was a total team effort. Phenomenal performance by Carrera in the goal and by the whole defense. It was difficult to play a game with all of the big balls hit and the great sweeps by BC’s Frederique Haverhals. That we withstood that pressure and created attack when we could was amazing. Kudos to the whole team.”

The Eagles took the first five shots of the game, including a pair of back-to-back attempts six minutes into the contest, the first saved by Lucas and the second knocked out of the air by McDonough. The Cavaliers had a good scoring opportunity midway through the period on back-to-back shots from senior Izzy McDonough (Kennett Square, Pa.) and her sister, Annie, but the first was saved and the second sailed wide. Izzy took the Cavaliers’ third shot with nine minutes remaining in the period, which was also saved. The Cavaliers had a penalty corner in the waning seconds of the first half, but did not get a shot off.

In the second half, the Cavaliers went on the offensive early, earning a penalty corner three minutes into the period. Norair scored on UVA’s second penalty corner three minutes later. Freshman Amber Ezechiels (Niew-Vennep, Netherlands) took the initial shot off the insertion, but her attempt was saved. Norair corralled the rebound on the left side and fired off an attempt that sailed into the net.

The Eagles intensified their pressure in the final 15 minutes of the contest, taking eight shots in a 10-minute span. Boston College appeared to tie up the game with 12:17 remaining, scoring on a third-shot after a corner, but the goal was overturned upon review, preserving the Cavaliers’ lead.

BC pulled its goalie for the final 2:33 of the game, but did not get off a shot.

Norair’s goal was her first of the year. Boston College’s goalkeeper Jonna Kennedy made four saves.

The No. 5-seed Cavaliers and the No. 4-seed Eagles finished the regular-season in a three-way tie for fourth place, alongside Wake Forest, in the conference at 2-4. Virginia moved up to No. 16 in this week’s Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches’ Poll and is No. 13 in the latest NCAA Field Hockey RPI. Boston College is No. 13 in this week’s poll while UNC remains the top-ranked team in the country.

The entire tournament will be broadcast to a national television audience on the channels of the ACC Regional Sports Networks as well as the Fox Sports Go app. Live stats will be available through the ACC Tournament Central website with links to all of these amenities posted on VirginiaSports.com.


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