CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 7 Virginia field hockey team (3-2) continues its seven-game road swing when it heads to the state of Ohio this weekend for two non-conference games. The Cavaliers are set to face Miami (Ohio) at 3 p.m. Friday before concluding the trip with a 1 p.m. game Saturday against Michigan State. Live stats for both games will be linked on VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia is coming off a 3-0 win at in-state rival James Madison Wednesday night, in which three second half goals propelled the Cavaliers to victory. Elly Buckley, Carissa Vittese and Sarah Weber each scored in the winning effort.
On the year, Buckley leads the UVa offense with four goals, while Vittese and sophomore Hadley Bell each have three scores. Freshman Jess Orrett has also contributed two goals and two assists. In the cage, freshman Jenny Johnstone has a .667 save percentage and a 2.25 goals against average in three starts.
Miami is coached by former UVa associate head coach Iñako Puzo, who is in his first season at the helm of the RedHawk program. Puzo spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Virginia; in both years the Cavaliers advanced to the NCAA semifinals. Miami assistant coach Chip Rogers, a graduate of Virginia, also spent several years as an assistant director in the Virginia Athletics Media Relations office prior to his stint in coaching.
Miami is off to a 1-3 start on the year, having most recently earned a 3-0 win at Rutgers last weekend after opening the season with three losses (Indiana 3-0; Northwestern 4-0, Monmouth 3-2 in overtime). Junior Olivia Miller leads the way with two goals an assist on the season, while sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Mueller posts a .759 save percentage and a 2.57 goals against average.
Virginia is unbeaten at 5-0 all-time vs. the Redhawks. The last time the two teams met was to open the 2009 season, a 7-0 Cavalier victory in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers will face Michigan State for the third consecutive season. Virginia head coach Michele Madison spent 13 seasons at MSU prior to taking over the Cavalier program in 2006. Additionally, Virginia assistant coach Alex (Kyser) Street played under Madison at Michigan State from 2000-03.
The Spartans began the season with a 0-4 mark and are coming off two losses in Boston last weekend, falling to Boston University (3-1) and Northeastern (5-0). MSU's Allie Ahern and Chelsy Coil have contributed two goals each this season while goalkeeper Molly Cassidy has a .708 save percentage and a 4.38 goals against average in the cage.
Virginia leads the all-time series with Michigan State 3-1, having won the last three meetings. In 2009 and 2010, the two squads met in the NCAA Tournament, and both times the Cavaliers came away with a 3-2 overtime win.