CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 4 Virginia field hockey team (8-0, 0-0 ACC) welcomes Boston University (3-5) for a 6 p.m. game Friday at the University Hall Turf Field. The Cavaliers will then open Atlantic Coast Conference play at 1 p.m. Sunday against ninth-ranked Boston College (7-1, 0-1 ACC).
On Sunday against the Eagles, Virginia Athletics will hold a pregame tailgate, available to all fans, while supplies last. A postgame clinic for youth 13 and under will also be conducted by Virginia coaches and players.
Virginia has outscored opponents 31-4 in eight games this season and five of those games have been shutouts. High school teammates Paige Selenski and Tara Puffenberger lead the Cavalier offense with seven goals apiece. Junior goalkeeper Kim Kastuk currently leads the nation in both goals allowed average (0.15) and save percentage (.929). She has given up just one goal in 470 minutes this season.
With an 8-0 record, Virginia is off to its best start since the 1997 season, when UVa also started 8-0 and went on to make its first trip to the NCAA semifinals. The 1979 team began its season with a 12-0 record, the best in program history. That team went on to finish 15-4 and play in the AIAW Tournament.
Virginia is coming off a 3-0 shut out over No. 8 Michigan State last Sunday. The Cavaliers scored all three goals in the first half and recorded their fifth shutout of the year. Freshman Tara Puffenberger had a hand in all three goals, assisting on the first one to Paige Selenski before scoring the team's second and third goals in the last 10 minutes of the half. Last Thursday, UVa concluded a five-game road trip with a 4-1 victory against William & Mary. Four different Cavaliers scored against the Tribe: Puffenberger, Selenski, Michelle Vittese and Floor Vogels.
Boston University is 3-5 this season and receiving votes in the latest poll. The Terriers are riding a two game winning streak after defeating Sacred Heart 7-0 and Dartmouth 1-0. The team's other win this season was a 3-2 victory over UMass in overtime. BU has lost this season to some quality teams, including Northwestern (2-1 in OT), Maryland (2-0), Iowa (3-1), Boston College (4-3 in OT) and Northeastern (4-3). Nikki Lloyd currently leads the Terriers with five goals this season. Teammate Allie Dolce has four goals and a team-best five assists for 13 points. In the cage, Amanda Smith has 26 saves and a .605 save percentage.
Junior goalkeeper Kim Kastuk is playing her first season at Virginia after two seasons at Boston University. Kastuk was the America East Goalkeeper of the Year in 2008 and the America East Rookie of the Year in 2007. Ironically, her career-best 13 saves came last season when BU upset then-No. 8 Virginia in penalty strokes.
UVa has never beaten Boston University, with an 0-4 mark all-time against the Terriers. Last season, BU escaped at home with a 3-2 win over two rounds of penalty strokes.
Ninth-ranked Boston College is 7-1 on the season with its only loss to top-ranked Maryland last weekend, 6-2. BC is coming off a 2-1 win over overtime against No. 11 UMass. Junior Janna Anctil notched the game-winner.The Eagles have recorded wins over Vermont (3-0), William & Mary (7-2), Quinnipiac (5-0), Holy Cross (6-2), Boston University (4-3 in OT) and Monmouth (7-1). Senior Chelsey Feole leads the nation with 1.63 goals per game this season. She has 13 scores in eight games. Teammates Kate Gillis and Anctil each have six goals. Goalkeeper Kristine Stigas has 35 saves and a .700 save percentage this season.
Virginia holds a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series with Boston College. The two teams met in Boston last season with the Cavaliers earning a 2-1 win in overtime. Then-freshman Paige Selenski scored both goals, including the game-winner. The last BC win was in Charlottesville in 2007, 2-1. The Cavaliers would later defeat the Eagles in overtime in the 2007 ACC Tournament.