EAST LANSING, Mi. - Elly Buckley's goal nearly three minutes into double overtime gave the No. 6 Virginia field hockey team a 2-1 victory over No. 20 Michigan State.
The Cavaliers, who scored 25 goals in three games last week, seemed poised to keep up the hot scoring streak when Paige Selenski (R-Sr., Shavertown, Pa.) struck early, scoring on a shot from the right side 90 seconds into the game.
Michigan State tied the game, 1-1, at the 8:48 mark. The Spartans Abby Barker broke free and raced down the field, taking a quick shot that found its way into the net.
Barker's goal was one of the few scoring opportunities for the Spartans. The Cavaliers dominated the game, keeping the goal in the offensive zone most of the game. They outshot the Spartans, 23-10 and had 16 penalty corners to the Spartans five.
Despite the offensive dominance, the Cavaliers were held scoreless through the remainder of regulation. Michigan State's Molly Cassidy logged eight saves, keeping Virginia off the scoreboard.
During the first overtime period, Michigan State had the best chance to score, but Michelle Vittese (R-Sr., Cherry Hill, N.J.) intercepted a pass that was meant for a wide open forward positioned on the left side of the goal, helping to send the game to a second overtime.
In the second overtime, Vittese battled for a ball in the midfield, passing it out ahead to Selenski who found Elly Buckley (Jr., Scarborough Perth, Australia) running up to the right side of the goal. Buckley took a shot from three yards out to put an end to the contest and giving the Cavaliers their second overtime victory of the year.
"It was a hard-fought game by both teams," said head coach Michele Madison. "Michigan State's defense played really well. Their goalkeeper played really well. We were able to get some shots off, but not a lot of clean, open looks. We put a lot of pressure in there with 23 shots and 16 corners. We had the opportunities to do it, and that is what you can build on, those opportunities. And that is what we will build on."
Selenski's goal was her 11th of the season. Buckley's goal was her ninth of the year. Selenski leads the team with 29 points, followed by Buckley with 22.
Jenny Johnstone (So., Paisley, Scotland) played the entire 87:47 in goal, logging five saves. She earned the win, improving to 4-0 on the season.
The game was the first time Madison had returned to East Lansing since leaving Michigan State to take the head coaching job at UVa. Madison is the all-time winningest coach in Michigan State program history. She left the Spartans with a record of 155-116-2.
"I had to keep remembering we were the guest when I looked at the scoreboard," Madison said when talking about her return to Ralph Young Field. "I am proud of Michigan State and their traditions. During the warm-up, they still do some of the things we did way back when. I love that tradition and to see that I made an impact and that things stick and they were good things."
The Cavaliers have a quick turnaround, facing another top-25 opponent in less than 24 hours, taking on No. 14 Northeastern back at Michigan State's field on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m.
"Our second and third shots are what are key," Madison said about the Northeastern matchup. "We have to get more people in scoring position and try to get some more action on the goalkeeper."
Live stats of the game will be available on GameTracker on VirginiaSports.com.
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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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