Field hockey: Virginia hosts NCAA 1st/2nd rounds this weekend

uva-logo-new2The Virginia field hockey team earned an at-large bid and the No. 3 overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Field Hockey Championship and will host first and second round games Nov. 14-15 at University Hall Turf Field in Charlottesville.

Virginia will serve as one of four host sites for the first two rounds of the tournament. The Cavaliers (14-5) will host Delaware (16-5) on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m., with Duke (12-6) and Stanford (13-6) playing at 2 p.m. The winners will advance to the second round game on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m.

Free live streaming video and live GameTracker stats for all three games will be available on VirginiaSports.com.

Virginia is ranked No. 4 in the final NFHCA poll of the year with Duke ranked 6th, Delaware 12th and Stanford 13th.

This is the 20th trip to NCAA Tournament for the Cavaliers and their eighth in head coach Michele Madison’s 10 seasons at Virginia. UVA is seeking its fifth trip to the NCAA semifinals and its first since 2010.

Virginia is 3-0 this season against the teams playing in Charlottesville this weekend, including a 3-2 overtime win at Delaware (Oct. 18), a 4-2 regular-season win over Duke (Sept. 18) and a 5-1 victory over the Blue Devils last Thursday (Nov. 5) in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.

Stanford beat Duke, 3-2, in overtime at Stanford this season (Aug. 30). Duke downed Delaware 5-1 (Sept. 25) in Durham.

Senior Taylor Brown (Charlottesville, Va.) was one of two Cavaliers to earn ACC All-Tournament Team honors after a weekend of solid play, including setting up Virginia’s first goal in the semifinal overtime loss to Syracuse. Brown scored the first goal of the game against Delaware.

Junior goalkeeper Rebecca Holden (Fishing Creek, N.J.) was also named to the ACC All-Tournament Team after logging 15 saves in the two games. Holden is averaging 6.5 saves in her last four games.

All-ACC First Team member junior Lucy Hyams (Whitstable, England) scored a pair of goals in the ACC Tournament win over Duke. Hyams is second on the team with 29 points this season. All-ACC First Team member sophomore Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) leads the team in points with 37 as well as pacing UVA with 14 goals.

Junior Riley Tata (Virginia Beach, Va.) tied the Syracuse game, 2-2, by scoring her 12th goal of the season with 12 minutes remaining in regulation. Tata’s dozen goals is the highest single-season tally of her Cavalier career after scoring 11 her freshman year and 10 last season.

Delaware is currently fourth nationally with 3.85 goals per game and eighth with a scoring margin of 1.83.  The Blue Hens are also fourth in points per game (10.81), fifth in assists per game (3.0) and ninth with 10.0 defensive saves. Esmee Peet leads the team with 33 points and 14 goals.

Delaware head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof was an assistant coach on the Michigan State staff from 1999-2005 when Virginia head coach Michele Madison was the head coach of the Spartans. Van de Kerkhof was named the Michigan State head coach after Madison left to take the Virginia job. This is van de Kerkhof’s fifth season at Delaware. Duke’s head coach Pam Bustin was an assistant coach on Madison’s staff at Michigan State from 1993-96. Bustin coached at Hofstra for one year (1997) before leading Louisville from 1998-2010. This is her fourth season at Duke.

All seats at Turf Field for the games 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.


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