Sept. 22, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
The No. 4 Virginia field hockey team closed out the weekend with a 2-1 victory over No. 13 Northwestern Sunday (Sept. 22) at Turf Field.
"We had to muscle our way through this one, but it feels great to get the victory," said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. "It was a blue collar game. We had to deal with the physicality of it and still make it our game, which we did today. I learned that our team has another gear, they can dig deeper and put it in that higher gear. They keep surprising me."
The victory was Virginia's third win over a ranked opponent this season with the Cavaliers improving to 8-1. It was also the second-straight game in which the Cavaliers had to face a ranked opponent after falling 2-1 to No. 1 North Carolina on Friday (Sept. 20). The loss snapped an eight-game win streak for the Wildcats who fell to 8-2 on the season.
Freshman Caleigh Foust (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) scored the game-winning goal with 5:06 remaining in the game after senior Hadley Bell (Shaker Heights, Ohio) rifled a pass from the top of the circle. Foust was perfectly positioned in front of the net to flick in the shot past the diving goalkeeper.
Virginia got off to a fast start on the attack, earning five penalty corner opportunities in the first eight minutes of the game, but Northwestern's defense clogged the circle, blocking four of the attempts with goalkeeper Maddy Carpenter saving the fifth.
Virginia's first score also came after a foul with Foust drawing a whistle right in front of the net after being interfered with by the goalkeeper, setting up a penalty stroke for senior Carissa Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.). Vittese converted the stroke, smashing her shot in high over the goalie's shoulder to give UVa a 1-0 lead just over 12 minutes into the game.
Northwestern was outshot 11-6 in the first period, but played a much-more aggressive second half, tying the game on a second chance shot after a penalty corner insertion just over seven minutes into the period.
Northwestern took advantage of a late green card on freshman Lucy Hyams (Whitstable, Kent, England) by also pulling its goalkeeper to give the Wildcats a two-man advantage on the attack with 1:45 remaining in the game, but the Virginia defense held tight and secured the victory for the Cavaliers.
Bell's assist was her second of the weekend after also setting up a similar goal for freshman striker Riley Tata (Virginia Beach, Va.) against North Carolina. Foust now has eight goals on the season, ranking second on the team. Vittese's goal was her first of the year.
Junior goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone (Paisley, Scotland) logged four saves with senior Chloe Pendlebury (Perth, Australia) and freshman Jeannie Blackwood (Virginia Beach, Va.) each adding a defensive save.
Virginia finishes off its current three-game homestand with a midweek game on Wednesday, Sept. 25, hosting James Madison at 6 p.m. Admission is free for all 2013 Virginia field hockey regular-season home games played at Turf Field.