Nov. 7, 2006
The Virginia field hockey team has accepted a bid to play in the NCAA Field Hockey Championships and will face Iowa at 2:00 pm in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Winston Salem, NC. The Cavaliers, who forged a 13-7 record against the nation's fourth-toughest schedule, earned an at-large bid and are in the tournament for the first time since 2001. That year the Cavaliers also faced a Big Ten opponent in the first round in Winston Salem, defeating Ohio State 2-1 in extra time.
"It's a great accomplishment for the season," said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. "The team was diligent all season long, and their persistence paid off. Iowa is a formidable opponent; they are well-coached, discplined, and skilled."
Virginia advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament after defeating Boston College 2-1 in the first round. The Cavaliers have faced eight teams in the 2006 tournament, including wins over James Madison, Richmond, and UNC. Virginia ranks ninth nationally in RPI.
The Cavaliers, who rank among the nation's leaders in scoring offense, are led by one of the top two-way players in the nation in Inge Kaars Sijpesteijn, who scored both goals in the semifinal win over Boston College. Rookie Traci Ragukas leads the team with 15 goals and ranks second in the nation among all first-years in goals and goals scored.
Virginia has split its two games with Iowa in school history, defeating the Hawkeyes in Charlottesville in extra time in 1994 after losing to the Hawks on Grant Field in 1993. Virginia and Iowa both defeated Stanford and Northwestern in 2006 while both sides lost to Wake Forest and Duke. Virginia defeated UNC, who defeated the Hawks, while Iowa notched a win over Boston University, who upset Virginia.
The Cavaliers have a 6-16 record all-time in the national championships, including a 6-12 mark in the NCAA Championships. Virginia advanced to the NCAA semifinals in 1997 and 1998.
The entire bracket is as follows:
(first round games are on Sat. Nov. 11; second round games are Sun. Nov 12)
at Wake Forest
#1 Wake Forest vs American
Virginia vs Iowa
#4 Duke vs James Madison
Ohio State vs California
#3 Old Dominion vs Princeton
Connecticut vs Boston University
#2 Maryland vs Richmond
Penn State vs North Carolina