Sept. 26, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 7 Virginia field hockey team (9-2) looks to upset its second top-five ranked opponent of the season, hosting No. 4 Maryland (7-1) Friday at 6 p.m. at Turf Field.
Maryland, the top-ranked team coming into the 2012 season, is the second top-five opponent faced by the Cavaliers this season. Virginia defeated then-ranked No. 3 Old Dominion, 5-4, on Sept. 2. Maryland has only one loss this season, falling to ODU, 2-1, in College Park on Aug. 31.
Maryland holds a 37-19-2 series advantage and has won the last 14 meetings between the two schools. However, four of the last six times the two teams have played, the game has been decided in overtime. Virginia's last victory over Maryland was also decided in extra time with the Cavaliers winning 3-2 on penalty strokes in 2001. The last time Virginia defeated Maryland in Charlottesville was a 3-2 regulation win in 1998.
Both teams have high-powered offenses with Maryland averaging 4.12 goals-per-game and Virginia 4.36. The Cavaliers are fourth among all NCAA Division I teams in goals per game. North Carolina leads the nation with a 5.0 average. Virginia is also fifth in scoring average (4.2), fifth in scoring margin (+2.71) and fifth in assists per game (3.27).
After giving up just two goals in their last four games, the Cavaliers have also risen to No. 17 with a goals-against average of 1.49.
The Cavaliers have been even more dominant at Turf Field this season, with a perfect 4-0 record at home. Virginia is averaging 7.75 goals-per-game in home contests and a 1.50 goals-against average. The Cavaliers have also averaged 22.0 shots in home games this season.
Paige Selenski (R-Sr., Shavertown, Pa.) has scored 12 of her 15 goals this season at Turf Field.
Selenski begins the week ranked second in the country points-per-game (3.90) and ranks third among all NCAA Division I players in goals per game (1.50) and assists per game (0.90).
Last week, Selenski scored a goal against Boston University and had an assist at Boston College, moving her closer to the top spot in the UVa career records. Selenski has 88 career goals, 13 shy of the all-time record of 101 set by Meredith Thorpe (1995-98). Selenski, with 210 career points, trails Thorpe by 20 points.
Elly Buckley (Jr., Scarborough Perth, Australia) is 10th among all NCAA Division I players in points-per-game (2.36) and ninth in goals-per-game (1.00). Rachel Sumfest (So., Lewisburg, Pa.) is also ranked in the top-50 in points per game (No. 29, 1.82) and goals-per-game (No. 33, 0.73). Michelle Vittese (R-Sr., Cherry Hill, N.J.) is ranked No. 46 in assists-per-game (0.5). Goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone (So., Paisley, Scotland) moved up to No. 20 with a 1.56 goals-against average.
The Cavaliers are playing their third-consecutive ranked opponent. It is the second time this season that the team has faced top-25 ranked teams in back-to-back-to-back contests. The last time, the Cavaliers defeated No. 3 Old Dominion and No. 20 Michigan State before falling to No. 14 Northeastern.
The Cavaliers also bring a four-game win streak into the contest. Virginia has won eight of their last nine games.
The Cavaliers also have a non-conference tilt this weekend, hosting Saint Joseph's on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.