Oct. 3, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 5 Virginia field hockey team (11-2, 2-0 ACC) brings a six-game win streak to Turf Field as it hosts Yale (3-6, 1-2 Ivy) on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 12 p.m. The Cavaliers will also face No. 19 New Hampshire on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. at Turf Field.
The Cavaliers moved up to No. 5 from last week's No. 7 ranking in the Penn Monto/ NFHCA National Coaches Poll, the team's highest ranking of the season. Virginia's last stint in the top-five came in the preseason poll in 2011, when they were ranked No. 3.
Virginia is currently tied with Maryland for fifth place in the poll. Maryland was ranked No. 4 before falling, 3-2, at Virginia last Friday. It was the Cavaliers' second win over a top-five ranked team this season and the fifth victory over a team ranked in the top-25. Additionally, two opponents who were unranked when Virginia played them, Richmond and William & Mary, have since entered the top-25. Richmond is currently ranked 22nd and William & Mary is at No. 21.
Michelle Vittese (R-Sr., Cherry Hill, N.J.) was named the ACC Player of the Week on Tuesday after scoring four unassisted goals in last week's games against Maryland and Saint Joseph's. It was the first time Vittese earned the ACC Player of the Week honor in her career and was the second time this season a Cavalier player had been named ACC Player of the Week.
Paige Selenski added three goals and an assist to her totals last week. Selenski, with 18 goals and 10 assists (46 points) this season, is ranked second among all players in points per game (3.83), fourth in goals per game (1.5), and sixth in assists per game (0.83) and leads the ACC in all of those categories.
Selenski is 13 points away from tying the Virginia program record for most points in a career and 10 goals shy of tying the record for most goals in a career. Meredith Thorpe (1995-98) currently owns both records with 230 career points and 101 career goals. Selenski comes into the weekend with 217 career points and 91 career goals.
Elly Buckley (Jr., Scarborough Perth, Australia) added two goals (four points) to her season totals last week after scoring twice against Saint Jospeh's. Buckley is ranked 12th in the nation in points-per-game (2.31) and seventh in goals-per-game (1.0). She is fourth in the ACC in points-per-game and third in goals-per-game.
Goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone (So., Paisley, Scotland), who made six saves in the win over Maryland, is ranked No. 21 among all goalkeepers with a 1.61 goals-against average, the second-best mark in the ACC.
Saturday's opponent, Yale, is facing a ranked opponent for the fourth time in its last six games. The Bulldogs are also in the midst of a stretch of five-straight road games, falling in overtime at Cornell (1-0) and dropping a road game at No. 1 Syracuse, 5-0. They play at Dartmouth and at Vermont next weekend. Yale has scored eight goals this season (in nine games) with Mary Beth Barham and Erica Borgo leading the team with two goals apiece.
Current Yale volunteer assistant Melissa Gonzalez played for the US team in the 2012 London Olympics alongside Selenski and Vittese.
The Cavaliers are 6-0 this season against teams not ranked in the top-25, outscoring unranked opponents 38-8. The Cavaliers are also a perfect 6-0 at Turf Field this year.
The Cavaliers have been dominant in home games this season. In addition to the perfect 6-0 home record, Virginia is averaging 6.67 goals-per-game (to opponents' 1.83) and taking 21.7 shots-per-game (to opponents' 7.8). Selenski has scored 15 of her 18 goals this season at home.
On Sunday, Oct. 7, Virginia will host New Hampshire at 1 p.m. at Turf Field. The Wildcats, currently ranked No. 19 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches Poll, will be the eighth top-25 opponent the Cavaliers have played in 15 games this season. This will also be the second time this season the Cavaliers have played games on back-to-back days. On Sept. 7, the Cavaliers defeated No. 20 Michigan State, 2-1, in double overtime only to fall to No. 14 Northeastern, 3-2, on the same field less than 24 hours later.
Admission is free for all 2012 regular-season home games played at Turf Field.