Nov. 12, 2016
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 7 Virginia field hockey team (16-7) advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 NCAA Field Hockey Championship after logging a 2-1 victory over No. 10 Michigan (12-8) on Saturday (Nov. 12) at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex in University Park, Pa.
With the game knotted 1-1, junior midfielder Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) scored the game winner midway through the second half after taking the insertion from a penalty corner, dribbling through the circle before firing off a shot at the front of the goal that got past Michigan's keeper, Sam Swenson.
The Cavaliers will face Princeton (11-7) on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. with the winner advancing to next weekend's NCAA semifinals. The Tigers upset the host school, Penn State, 2-1, in the first game of the day.
"It was a hard-fought game by both teams," said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. "I was proud to have my team hold steady and see the players do what they needed to do to make a game like that go their way."
Freshman Erin Shanahan (Pasadena, Md.) scored the first goal of the game, taking a short shot from the right side after getting a cross from sophomore Greta Ell (Plains, Pa.). The Wolverines evened the score precisely four minutes later when Carly Bennett scored off a penalty corner.
Vittese scored what would be the game-winning goal 17:36 into the second half.
Virginia played short-handed through much of the final 10 minutes of the game. The Cavaliers first weathered a yellow card on senior Lucy Hyams (Whitstable, England). Shortly after returning to full strength, Michigan pulled its goalie for the final two minutes to gain an extra attacker.
Sophomore Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) made five saves, improving to 14-5 this season. Swenson had one save for Michigan.
Michigan held a 13-9 shot advantage. Both teams took seven penalty corners, scoring on one apiece.
Sunday's game will be streamed live online and live stats will be available through GameTracker. Links to both are posted on VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia stayed at No. 7 in this week's Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches Poll while the Wolverines stayed at No. 10. Penn State, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, is No. 5 and Princeton, an at-large selection into the NCAA field, is No. 14.
Virginia leads the all-time series against Princeton, 7-5, including blanking the Tigers 2-0 this season in Charlottesville.
Virginia is making its 21st appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the ninth in head coach Michele Madison's 11 seasons at UVA. The Cavaliers have made four trips to the NCAA semifinals, most recently in back-to-back appearances in 2009 and 2010, but have never advanced to the National Championship game. Last year, UVA hosted first and second round games, downing Delaware in overtime in the first round but falling 2-1 to Duke in overtime in the quarterfinals.
First- and second-round games will be played on four campus sites November 12-13 with Duke, Maryland and Syracuse serving as the other three hosts. Old Dominion University will host the semifinals and final Friday, November 18, and Sunday, November 20, at ODU -- LR Hill Complex in Norfolk, Virginia. The semifinals and finals will be streamed live on NCAA.com. For ticket information, please call 866-296-MTIX or visit NCAA.com/tickets.
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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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