The Virginia field hockey team (14-9) ended its NCAA Tournament run Sunday in a 4-3 loss to Wake Forest (21-3) in the quarterfinals at Kentner Stadium. First-year Paige Selenksi scored twice for the Cavaliers and second-year Kaitlyn Hiltz also tallied a goal.
“The team played so well and I am extremely proud of them for the level that we raised today,” Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. “We set our game plan to put the pressure on Wake and try to capitalize and pick up some balls off our press. It’s a shame there had to be a loser in that game.”
Virginia led 3-2 late in the second half until Wake Forest tied it with 12:45 remaining on the clock. Raisa Schiller recoded the unassisted goal off a rebounded shot from teammate Hilary Moore.
The Cavaliers did not let their guard down and were able to move down the field, where Pien Hulsbosch took a shot in the middle of the circle, but the ball sailed wide.
“We definitely had some opportunities that were just that close,” Madison said. “We had to put them in, and that was the difference.”
The Demon Deacons continued on the attack. Kim Romansky cut into the circle from the left and dumped the ball over to Moore. Moore sent it back to Romasky, who beat UVa goalkeeper Amy Desjadon for the game-winning score.
In the game, Virginia outshot the Demon Deacons 14-11 and took four penalty corners to Wake’s three.
“They did not score on a penalty corner today and it’s amazing we shut that down,” Madison said of Wake Forest’s corner opportunities.
In the cage, Desjadon finished with five saves and Crystal Duffield tallied eight stops for Wake Forest.
The Virginia offense put the pressure on early and built a 2-0 lead after two scores from Selenksi.
The first score came in the 14th minute after third-year Traci Ragukas shot the ball and it was saved by Duffield. Selesnki gathered the ball off the keeper’s pads and put it in for a 1-0 lead.
The Cavaliers maintained the pressure inside the circle. In the 29th minute, fellow first-year Michelle Vittese dribbled the ball and made her way through traffic. She pushed the ball toward the cage and it got through the congestion without being touched and made its away over to Selenksi on the far post.
Hiltz scored on a heads-up play after the ball was hit weakly in the Wake Forest backfield. Hiltz made her way to the ball, dribbled inside the circle and fired a shot. Her fourth goal of the season put the Cavaliers back on top 3-2.
“It’s always disappointing to lose because it is NCAAs and it was such a close game,” Madison said. “Our seniors came to play today and they did a great job.”
It was the final game in a Virginia uniform for Desjadon, Inge Kaars Sijpesteijn, Liz Hiltz and Lucy Meyers.