No. 9 Virginia dominates Drexel, edges No. 7 Penn State

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The No. 9 Virginia field hockey team started its season off strong this weekend, posting victories over Drexel and 7th-ranked Penn State. The Cavaliers (2-0) shut out the Dragons 6-0 Friday, but needed overtime to defeat the Nittany Lions.

In its 2015 season opener, Virginia struck early to gain control of the game. Sophomore midfielder Tara Vittese scored just two minutes into the game and added an assist nine minutes later to put the Cavaliers up by two.

The Cavaliers then got insurance from sophomore Emilie van Zinnicq Bergmann. The 5’5” midfielder scored two goals late in the first half to give Virginia a 5-0 lead heading into halftime. She completed the hattrick ten minutes into the second half to make the final score 6-0.

Sunday’s contest proved to be more exciting with Virginia needing a last minute goal to send the game to overtime. After being up 2-0 heading into halftime, the Cavaliers gave up three unanswered goals in the second half.

Vittese continued her strong weekend by navigating through traffic and firing home the game-tying shot with 1:23 remaining in the game. She then set up the game-winning goal by taking a hard shot from the circle that was saved, but went directly to freshman striker Nikki Freeman, who ended the game.

The Cavaliers will be back in action Sept. 4 at Rutgers to kick off their first road trip of the season.

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