Aug. 26, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 8 Virginia field hockey team closed out the opening road trip of the 2012 season with a 3-2 loss at No. 9 Penn State.
Penn State took a 1-0 lead in the first four minutes of the contest with Brittany Grzywacz taking a shot from the top of the circle against freshman goalkeeper Rebecca Holden (Fishing Creek, N.J.). Holden earned the first save of her career ten minutes later, stopping a smash by PSU's Kelsey Amy.
Penn State added a second goal in the final two minutes of the first half. After a shot hit off the goal post, a Nittany Lion player corralled the rebound and knocked it in to give PSU the 2-0 lead at the half.
Penn State added a third goal, scoring off a penalty corner at the 44:10 mark, putting the Hoos in a 3-0 hole.
With 13 minutes left in the game, Paige Selenski (R-Sr., Shavertown, Pa.) came all the way down the left wing, dribbling in front of the net. She bounced the ball off the goalie's extended arm and into the net.
After putting pressure, the Cavaliers had an excellent opportunity to score with nine minutes left in the game. The Hoos had a penalty corner with Carissa Vittese (Jr., Cherry Hill, N.J.) taking a shot. After her initial attempt was saved, Vittese was fouled right in front of the net on the follow-up, setting up a penalty stroke. Penn State's goalkeeper knocked down the attempt, keeping the Cavaliers from scoring.
Virginia scored its second and final goal off a penalty corner as time expired in the game. Carissa Vittese knocked in the ball for a 3-2 final.
Penn State outshot Virginia, 10-2, in the first half. In the second half, the Cavaliers dominated the offense with an 8-2 shot differential. Penn State fended off hard attacks from Selenski as well as shots off penalty corners from Elly Buckley.
"We have a lot of people who can be explosive goal scorers," said Virginia head coach Michelle Madison. It is just a matter of building up the game to get those opportunities. "In the second half, we got back to our game plan. We had been dribbling, and Penn State is a great double-team team. We were dribbling right into double teams, giving them power and allowing them to gain momentum. Once we were able to pass the ball around, we were able to move forward in a way that works with our system."
Rebecca Holden (0-1), in her first collegiate start, played the first half in goal, with three saves and two goals allowed. Jenny Johnstone played the second half in goal, with one goal allowed and one save.
"Becca did a good job," Madison said of her rookie goalkeeper's performance. "She had to face a bunch of one-on-one opportunities early on. It's still early in the season. We have to build the team and see what everyone can do. It's all about finding out what strengths are available for us from every player. And building those players' confidence."
Paige Selenski and Carissa Vittesse each scored their first goal of the season.
With the loss, the Cavaliers fall to 1-1 on the season. Penn State improves to 2-0.
The Cavaliers return home for a three-game homestand that begins on Wednesday, Aug. 29 when they host Richmond at 5 p.m. at Turf Field. Admission is free for all 2012 regular-season home games.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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