February 1, 1999
Charlottesville, VA - The nine senior members of the Cavalier field hockey team for 1998 will be honored for their efforts at todays womens basketball game against Clemson. Cavalier seniors Kara Ariza (Lansdowne, Pa./Penn Wood), Amy Broadwater (Elizabethtown, Pa./Lower Dauphin), Erin Jones (Hockessin, Del./St. Marks), Melissa Hayes (Chevy Chase, Md./Georgetown Visitation) Lori Mastropietro (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock), Meridith Thorpe (St. Louis, Mo./John Burroughs) and Michelle Vizzuso (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex), Frances West (Alexandria, Va./T. C. Williams), and Ellen Wiese (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) formed the winningest senior class in school history with a 68-22 career record.
In addition, these nine seniors were invited to the NCAA tournament four consecutive years, the first Virginia class to do so and making Virginia only t he 13th school in the nation to go to the NCAA tournament in Division I four consecutive years. The 1996 squad was the first Virginia field hockey team to be ranked #1 in the nation, and both the 1997 and 1998 squads also reached that plateau. Furthermore, the 1997 team was the first Virginia field hockey team to go to the NCAA national semifinals, a feat repeated by the 1998 team.
Mastropietro was the ACC Player of the Year in 1998, the first Cavalier to be so honored. The starting sweeper for the Cavaliers the last three seasons, Mastropietro is a member of the United States national team and is one of the captains for the 1998 Virginia squad. She anchored the Cavalier backfield, which ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense at 1.28 goals per game. In 1997, the Cavaliers led the nation in scoring defense, allowing less than a goal per game. Mastropietro can also score, having five goals and seven assists this season, including two game-winning goals and two game-winning assists in the 1998 campaign. This is her second consecutive nomination to the All-American team, as she was a third team selection in 1997.
Vizzuso is the Cavalier record holder in assists with 60, which ranks second all-time in the ACC and 11th in Division I history. She holds the two top seasonal records, and her 25 this season led the ACC. She has 14 goals and 25 assists in 1998, which leads the Cavaliers with 53 points, the fourth-highest total in school history for a single season. For the third consecutive season, she has reached double-digit totals in goals and assists, and she also is the only person in Cavalier history to record double-digit totals in game-winning goals (11) and assists (12) in a career. Shell was a two-time ACC Player of the Week selection, on Sept. 14 and Nov. 3.
She is also a member of the United States national team. She is the first player in ACC history to reach 50 goals and 60 assists.
Thorpe is the all-time leading scorer in the ACC with 230 points, including a conference record 101 goals. Thorpe, who led the team in scoring each of her first three seasons, currently has 19 goals and 9 assists, good enough for second on the 1998 squad. Her 17 goals led the ACC in goals in 1998 in the regular season. A three-time first-team All-American and All-Conference team member, Thorpe is also a member of the United States national squad.Thorpes 101 goals and 230 points rank 7th nationally in Division I history. Thorpe was ACC Player of the Week on October 19 and was the ACC Rookie of the Year in 1995. This is her fourth consecutive selection to the All-American teams. She was a first-team All-American her first three seasons