Aug. 26, 2006
The Virginia defense surrendered only five shots while helping generate a number of offensive opportunities, allowing the Cavaliers (1-0) to defeat the Indiana Hoosiers 3-2 today in Charlottesville. Virginia, ranked No. 19 by the NFHCA and unranked by womensfieldhockey.com, used a pair of goals two minutes apart to jump from a 1-0 deficit to a 2-1 lead in the first half. The Hoos outcornered the Hoosiers 4-2 and also had the advantage in shots 12-5. Haley Exner made six saves for Indiana (0-1) as both teams competed in the opening match of the 2006 fall season.
Despite early circle penetrations by the Cavaliers early in the match, it was IU who drew the first short corner 15 minutes into the contest. The Hoos defended the play, and at the other end a Fenna Breitbarth interception led to another circle entry and Exner's second save of the day kept the match tied at 0-0. The Hoosier attacked up the left side of the pitch as Lydia Schrott brought the ball over the 25 and into the circle, where she shot the ball to the middle. Indiana's Haley Funk picked up the loose ball and stuck it in the cage for the opening goal of the game at 17:29.
Virginia answered as center back Sara Confer intercepted a pass at midfield and sent the ball up to Breitbarth up at center forward, where she drew a short corner. On the play, Inge Kaars Sijpesteijn's shot was saved on the line by Indiana's Morgan Miller, keeping the Hoosiers up 1-0.
Minutes later right back Abby Taylor intercepted a long ball attempt by Indiana and sent the ball up to right forward Traci Ragukas, who attacked the circle and drew Virginia's third short of the half. Again Kaars Sijpesteijn rocketed a shot towards the cage, and this time it was tipped up by the Indiana defense and Biffy Cornelison was there to tap it in the cage for the equalizer at 21:59.
"I kept my eye on the ball and worked to make something happen," said Cornelison on the play.
Indiana worked the ball back to maintain possession on the centre pass but right midfielder Mia Link intercepted a pass and took it up the right side of the pitch, attacking the endline before threading the ball to Ragukas, who slammed the ball into the cage while on the floor, putting the Cavaliers up 2-1 at 24:01.
Indiana nearly tied the game minutes later as a circle entry resulted in a shot that went inches wide of the cage, and at the end of the half a Lindsay O'Bannon interception of a crossing pass in the circle forced Exner to make a quick save, but Virginia could not capitalize and the teams entered the break with UVa holding a 2-1 lead.
The Cavaliers attacked early in the second half, drawing a long corner and then a free hit just outside the circle. On the restart, center mid Kaars Sijpesteijn sent a shot into the circle that Exner stopped, but Ragukas was there to corral the loose ball and slot it into the boards for her second goal of the game and a 3-1 lead for Virginia at 36:32.
Indiana pulled within one as Schrott entered the 25 and the circle on her own and found space for a goal at 53:40. The Hoosiers kept the sustained attack and were able to penetrate the circle a number of times but could not net the equalizer. Virginia regained possession and Ragukas took a lead pass from center mid and drew a short corner with under ten minutes to play. The shot was inches wide of the cage, and at the other end of the pitch, the Hoosiers were awarded a short. The injection went to Schrott who was well to the left of the battery, and her attempt was saved by Katherine Blair and cleared over the 25. With time winding down, Indiana made a final rush up field but the Virginia defense did not allow another shot, sending the Cavaliers to the upset.
"I'll take the win," said Virginia head coach Michele Madison, who won in her debut as the Cavaliers' mentor. "We need to take better advantage of our opportunities in the 25, though. With a good team like Indiana you need to be able to finish those chances."
The Cavaliers return to action on Friday, September 1 as they host the Bobcats of Ohio University at 7:00 pm at the University Hall Turf Field.
IU, Funk, fg, 17:29
UVa, Cornelison, pc, 21:59
UVa, Ragukas (Link), fg, 24:01
UVa, Ragukas, fg, 36:32
IU, Schrott, fg, 53:40
Shots: UVa 12, IU 5
Short corners: UVa 4, IU 2
Keepers: UVa: Katherine Blair (70 mins, 2 saves, 2 GA); IU: Haley Exner (70 mins, 6 saves, 3 GA)
Def. saves: IU: Morgan Miller