CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The third-ranked Virginia field hockey team (4-0) travels to the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., this weekend for a pair of neutral-site contests between top-15 teams. The Cavaliers face No. 12 Ohio State at 11 a.m. Saturday and take on No. 9 Syracuse at 12 p.m. Sunday. Live Stats will be available for both games at VirginiaSports.com.
UVa is 4-0 on the season and enters the weekend coming off home victories over No. 16 Old Dominion (5-2) and Northwestern (2-0) this week. Junior Paige Selenski is off to a good start with nine goals early in the season. She was named the National and ACC player of the week after scoring six goals and leading the Cavaliers to the two wins this week.
Ohio State, meanwhile, is 3-1 on the year after defeating Louisville 4-3 in double overtime Wednesday night. The Buckeyes have also beaten Ohio (2-1) and Kent State (4-0), with their lone setback coming to Syracuse in overtime (2-1). Junior Aisling Coyle and senior Jena Cacciatore lead the team with four goals each, and junior goalkeeper Ally Tunitis has racked up 15 saves on the year, including a season-high six against the Cardinals.
The Virginia and Ohio State coaching staffs have many ties. UVa's Michele Madison spent 13 seasons at Michigan State, 10 of which she coached against Ohio State's Anne Wilkinson in the Big Ten. Additionally, associate head coach Iñako Puzo served in the same capacity under Wilkinson at Ohio State from 1999-2006.
UVa holds a 9-1 all-time advantage against the Buckeyes, but the teams have not competed since 2001 when the Cavaliers ousted OSU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 victory in overtime. Virginia has won the last four meetings between the teams, with Ohio State's last win coming in the 1994 season-opener (3-2 in double overtime).
Syracuse is 3-1 on the year and is coming off a 2-1 overtime loss at Kent State. The Orange has racked up wins against Northwestern (6-1), Northeastern (4-1) and Ohio State (2-1 OT). Senior Lindsey Conrad leads the team with three goals and freshman Leonie Geyer has made an early impact notching one goal and four assists. Sophomore Leann Stiver (.706 save percentage) has seen most of the time in the cage and has accumulated 12 saves.
Virginia is 1-0 all-time against Syracuse, a 2-1 Cavalier home victory in 1994.