CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 5 Virginia field hockey improved to 9-0 at home this season with a 4-0 victory over No. 25 Wake Forest in a game that held special meaning for the team.
During pregame warm-ups, the Cavaliers wore matching teal green t-shirts emblazoned with a pink ribbon as well as teal wristbands and pink shoelaces. The players had chosen this game to raise awareness of ovarian and breast cancer and, as was spelled out on the backs of their shirts, to dedicate the game to the memory of the late Judy Selenski, mother of forward Paige Selenski (R-Sr., Shavertown, Pa.).
During the game, Selenski wasted no time in setting the tone for the contest, scoring her first goal in the first three minutes of the game. Selenski dribbled the ball across the end line and then fired a shot past the keeper to give the Cavaliers the early 1-0 lead at the 2:40 mark.
Less then six minutes later, Selenski struck again, this time setting up teammate Rachel Sumfest (So., Lewisburg, Pa.). Selenski smashed a shot through traffic from the right side of the circle over to Sumfest who popped the ball in from the left side of the goal.
Sumfest scored her second goal with ten minutes remaining in the first half. After an initial shot by Selenski deflected off of the Wake goalie's pads, Sumfest won the tussle in front of the goal to knock in the ball to put the Cavaliers up, 3-0 at the 25:28 mark.
Selenski added a fourth goal for the team, her second of the day, two minutes into the second half, dribbling around a defender and hooking her shot past the goalkeeper.
After taking the 4-0 lead, the game became a defensive battle with the Cavaliers managing to keep the Demon Deacons off the scoreboard to earn their fifth shutout of the season and their third consecutive shutout at home. In the Cavaliers last three home games, including victories over two ranked teams, they have outscored their opponents 15-0.
"It wasn't an easy game to play," said head coach Michele Madison. "Wake Forest came to play. They put up a lot of big balls. They were trying to get down and around us. They have some good speed. I thought we held our composure and were able to shut down some of their interior attempts to go to the goalie."
Jenny Johnstone (So., Paisley, Scotland) played the entire game in goal for Virginia, earning her second shutout of the season. Johnstone had five saves, lowering her season goals-against average to 1.41 and improving her record to 11-2.
Selenski scored her ACC-leading 23rd goal of the season. Selenski had five points in the game, giving her 228 in her career, just two points shy of tying Meredith Thorpe (1995-98) for the Cavalier career points record (230). Selenski also scored her sixth game-winning goal of the season, a mark that also leads the ACC.
"All week we have been working on building our attack and building our 2-v-1's on the sideline," Selenski said. "I think we did that really well today. Wake is a really great team and always very physical. You could see that today with them really putting their bodies on the line and getting their sticks in there. They are a really good team and their coaching staff is great. It was a really great performance out there for us to come away with a shutout."
Sumfest scored her 13th goal of the season. Kelsey LeBlanc (So., Haverford, Pa.), sidelined since the beginning of September with a leg injury, returned to the field, playing multiple rotations. Britt Knouse (Sr., Mount Joy, Pa.), who returned last week against North Carolina after sitting out the first 15 game of the season recovering from a knee injury, got her first start of the year.
With the victory, the Cavaliers improve to 14-3 and 3-1 in the ACC. The Demon Deacons drop to 7-9 and 1-3 in the ACC. With Maryland's 4-3 overtime loss at North Carolina, the Cavaliers are now in sole possession of second place in the ACC, trailing the Tar Heels by one game.
Virginia will close out the ACC portion of their regular-season schedule next Saturday, Oct. 27 when they take on No. 24 Duke at 1 p.m. in Durham, N.C. The Cavaliers will play their final regular-season home game on Monday, Oct. 29 when they host No. 2 Princeton at 4 p.m. at Turf Field.