CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 6 Virginia field hockey team (4-1) heads to East Lansing, Mich. for a pair of weekend contests against top-25 opponents, taking on No. 20 Michigan State (3-1) on Friday, Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time and No. 14 Northeastern (3-0) on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. Both matches will be played at Michigan State's Ralph Young Field.
The Cavaliers rose to No. 6 in this week's Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll. The Cavaliers were ranked No. 8 in the preseason poll, climbing to No. 6 in the first official poll of the season. North Carolina (697 points) moved to the No. 1 ranking, a spot previously held by Maryland (650 points). Virginia received two first-place votes and 576 points. Fourth-ranked Princeton had ten first place votes, the most of any team, with 618 points.
Paige Selenski (R-Sr., Shavertown, Pa.) was named the ACC Player of the Week last week after tallying 23 points with nine goals, including two game-winners, and five assists in the Cavaliers' three victories. Last Wednesday, Selenski notched three goals and two assists in a 6-1 win over Richmond. In a 14-0 win over Towson on Friday, she scored four goals and two assists. The 10 points is tied for the fourth-best mark by an ACC player, just two points shy of the ACC single-game record, and the 14 goals scored by Virginia set a conference and a program record. On Sunday, the Cavaliers defeated third-ranked Old Dominion, 5-4, behind Selenski's two goals and one assist.
The two hat tricks marked the fifth and sixth of her career, and the four-goal performance was her second.
This is the third time that Selenski has been named the ACC Player of the week, earning the honor once in 2010 as a junior and once in 2009 during her sophomore season.
Selenski is now one goal shy of tying Cindy Carzo (1976-79) for second place on the Cavalier career goal list. Selenski began the season in third place with 73 goals. With 10 goals this season, she now has 83. She has also moved up the career assist list, ranking seventh with 31, three shy of tying for sixth with Nicole McMaster (1993-96).
Elly Buckley (Jr., Scarborough Perth, Australia) also had a big week, putting up 15 points with six goals and three assists. Buckley, with 112 points, has moved up to ninth on the Cavalier career points list. She is 16 points shy of tying Traci Ragukas (2006-09) in seventh place. Buckley's 44 goals has her ranked ninth on the career scoring list, six shy of tying for eighth place with Michelle Vizzuso (1995-98). She is two assists away from tying Meredit Elwell (1996-99) in tenth place on the career assist list at 26.
The Cavaliers ended their three-game homestand averaging 8.33 goals per game, 24.3 shots per game, and 10.0 penalty corners per game.
Michigan State will be the third ranked team the Cavaliers have faced this season. Virginia fell 4-3 to then-ranked No. 9 Penn State and upset No. 3 Old Dominion, 5-4.
Head coach Michele Madison served as the head coach of the Spartans from 1993-2005. During her time in East Lansing, she led the Spartans to their first-ever No. 1 ranking. Michigan State advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times, including two NCAA semifinal berths (2002, 2004) and two quarterfinal appearances (2001, 2003) during her tenure. Madison, named the 2001 Big Ten Coach of the Year, also guided the Spartans to back-to-back conference titles in 2001 and 2002. During the 2002 season, she picked up another coaching honor, being tabbed the West Region Coach of the Year. Madison left Michigan State as the school's all-time leader in victories with a 155-116-2 record.
Madison's Cavaliers have played Michigan State three times, twice in Charlottesville (including a 2010 NCAA Tournament overtime victory) and once in a neutral site game in Ohio. This is the first time that Madison will be playing against the Spartans in East Lansing since coming to Charlottesville.
This is the second time this season that Madison will be sitting in the unfamiliar territory of the visiting bench at an all-too-familiar field. In the first road trip of the season, Madison led the Cavaliers at Temple, the school she coached at before Michigan State.
The Cavaliers are 3-2 all-time against Michigan State. The Spartans won the last meeting, 3-0, in 2011.
Virginia closes out the weekend with a contest on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time against No. 14 Northeastern. The game will be played at Michigan State.
After a game on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in Williamsburg against William & Mary, the Cavaliers will be home next weekend, playing a National Field Hockey Day game against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 11:00 a.m.