Field hockey: Virginia advances in NCAA Tournament with OT win over Delaware
The Virginia field hockey team (15-5) advanced to the second round of the NCAA Field Hockey Championship with a 4-3 overtime victory over Delaware (16-6) on Saturday (Nov. 14) at University Hall Turf Field in Charlottesville.
Both teams scored three times in the first half but were scoreless in the second period. Eight minutes into the overtime period, junior midfielder Lucy Hyams (Whitstable, England) took off on a fast break, getting ahead of the Delaware defenders. Hyams found junior striker Riley Tata (Virginia Beach, Va.) positioned in front of the net. Tata had a one-on-one with the goalie, knocking in the game-winning shot 8:13 into the overtime period to keep the Cavaliers’ season alive.
“We’ve had a lot of preparation all season, playing six or seven overtimes and a lot of close games where we just kept building depth and had the confidence to keep possession of the ball,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. “Delaware has very strong players. Esmee Peet is amazing. She was setting up a lot of goals. They put a lot of opportunity balls in the circle. Both teams had some great opportunities, but we were able to use our skills to win it. Kudos to Delaware as they had a great season. I am really proud of our team’s effort today and excited to be playing again on our field tomorrow.”
Virginia will play Duke (13-6) on Sunday at 2 p.m. with the winner advancing to next weekend’s NCAA Semifinals. The Blue Devils defeated Stanford, 1-0, in overtime in the other Saturday’s other first-round game at Turf Field.
Sophomore midfielder Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) scored the first goal against the Blue Hens, dribbling into the circle and firing off a backhand shot seven minutes into the game. Peet tied the game two minutes later, converting a penalty stroke. After Virginia took a 2-1 lead 18 minutes in with junior Caleigh Foust (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) deflecting in a long pass from junior Macy Peebles (Yorktown, Va.), Delaware scored back-to-back goals to lead 3-2. Tata scored a second-chance goal five minutes before halftime to tie the game, 3-3.
Both teams had scoring chances in the second half. Virginia players were issued back-to-back yellow cards 15 minutes into the second half, but UVA managed to maintain possession of the ball for most of the four minutes it was down two players. In the final two minutes of regulation, Virginia had back-to-back quick shots from Tata and Hyams but Delaware’s Emmeline Oltmans saved both attempts.
In the overtime period, Delaware’s Taylor Lister had a good look at the goal in the first 30 seconds, but redshirt freshman Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) made the save. Freshman forward Greta Ell (Plains, Pa.) had a clear shot at the goal a minute later, but missed wide. Delaware had a penalty corner three minutes into OT, but Lucas made another save. After the penalty corner, neither team took another shot until the Hyams/Tata breakaway six minutes later.
“I received the ball from Tara [Vittese] on the right-hand side,” Hyams said, recalling the game-winning moment. “I saw a girl coming towards me and I saw a space inside, so I cut the ball inside and Riley was stretched on the left-hand side. I thought ‘If this gets to her, it’s a goal.’ And it just magically happened. It was wonderful.”
Lucas played a scoreless 54:34 in goal, making eight saves. Sophomore Becca Zamojcin (Phoenixville, Pa.) and freshman Laura Schnatmeier (Bad Schwartau, Germany) each made defensive saves. Junior goalie Rebecca Holden (Fishing Creek, N.J.) logged four first-half saves. Oltmans made five saves for Delaware.
Delaware outshot Virginia, 22-15 and had a 6-4 edge in penalty corners.
All seats at Turf Field for Sunday’s game will be general admission with adult tickets priced at $5 and Student/Youth tickets priced at $3. Tickets can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com or by calling the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-542-8821. Day-of-game sales at Turf Field will be cash only.
There will also be a $5 parking fee for those parking in the Cage Lot. Free parking will be available in the UHall, John Paul Jones Arena, and McCue lots.
Syracuse, North Carolina and Connecticut will serve as the other three host sites for the first and second round games. The winner of each site will advance to the NCAA Semifinals on Nov. 20 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The National Championship game will take place on Nov. 22 at Michigan.