Home #6 UVA field hockey holds off #7 Princeton, 6-4

#6 UVA field hockey holds off #7 Princeton, 6-4


uva-logo-new2The No. 6 UVA field hockey team (2-2) held off a second-half attack by No. 7 Princeton (0-2) to earn a 6-4 victory on Sunday (Sept. 7) at Turf Field.

Virginia held a 4-0 advantage two minutes into the second half, but Princeton scored three goals in a span of 13 minutes to trail by one, 4-3, with just over 18 minutes remaining in the game. Virginia converted a pair of penalty corner opportunities, including a goal by sophomore Lucy Hyams (Whitstable, England) with just over six minutes remaining, to hold on for its first win over a ranked opponent this season.

“It feels awesome to get this victory over Princeton as they are a really good team,” said head coach Michele Madison. “In the second half, Princeton really brought it on and attacked us. We weren’t able to get the same kind of pressure we had in the first half. I knew they would come back. Coming off of our two losses where we dominated the opponent in the stats, we kept trying to build our game in the areas we were lacking in order to win a game. We fought hard and were able to close this one out.”

Senior Jenny Johnstone (Paisley, Scotland) played the entire game in goal for the Cavaliers, logging seven saves, improving to 1-1 on the season. Anya Gersoff made nine stops for Princeton.

Three Cavaliers scored their first career goals in the contest. Freshman midfielder Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) scored her first career goal on a penalty corner with 13:38 remaining. Vittese also set up Virginia’s final goal, her fifth assist of the season. Sophomore Emilia Tapsall (Old Greenwich, Conn.) scored her first career goal, taking a hard shot from the top of the circle after receiving a pass from sophomore Riley Tata (Virginia Beach, Va.). Senior Maddie DeCerbo (Surf City, N.J.), who has primarily played defense in her Cavalier career, scored Virginia’s second goal, tapping in a pass from senior Jess Orrett (Wells, England) after a penalty corner.

Sophomore Riley Tata (Virginia Beach, Va.) got the Cavaliers on the board in the first three minutes of the game, dribbling into the circle and firing off a shot from the right side. With the goals from DeCerbo and Tapsall, Virginia had a 3-0 lead at halftime. Sophomore Caleigh Foust (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) created her own opportunity 1:31into the second half by dribbling into the circle, faking out the goalie and firing a blistering shot into the net to give UVa a 4-0 lead.

Two and a half minutes after Princeton had pulled to within a goal, 4-3, Vittese smashed in her penalty corner shot with freshmen Nadine de Koning (Laren, The Netherlands) and Emilie van Zinnicq Bergmann (Dordrecht, The Netherlands) credited with the assists.

With 12 minutes remaining in the game, Princeton had the ball in the circle. Johnstone came up out of the net to make a play on the ball, batting away the initial attack, but the ball rolled free. The Tiger’s Rachel Park won the footrace to the ball, knocking it into the empty net to make it a 5-4 game. Hyams and Vittese scored their goal off a corner five minutes later to give UVa its 6-4 advantage.

Princeton’s best scoring opportunity came with five minutes remaining. The Tigers had a penalty corner, with Sydney Kirby taking a shot, but Virginia sophomore Emily Faught (Newton Square, Pa.) made a defensive save to preserve the two-goal advantage.
The Cavaliers will be back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 9 when they host Miami (Ohio) for a 1 p.m. contest at Turf Field. Admission is free for all of Virginia’s regular-season home field hockey games.



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