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Field hockey strives to end skid

After dropping a surprising match to James Madison and a disappointing ACC loss to North Carolina, the Virginia women's field hockey team looks forward to its match versus Radford to try to reverse the streak tonight at University Hall Turf Field.

"Radford should be a great opportunity for our team to get back on track, and hopefully we can come together and do that," Cav Coach Jessica Wilk said.

The Cavs desperately need to get the wheels of their field hockey machine back on track as the team attempts to begin its final roll to postseason play. The Cavaliers are facing a small lull in their season, losing to James Madison after giving up three consecutive second-half scores, after going into the half up 2-0.

Against fourth-ranked North Carolina, the field hockey team could not put one in the back of the net and dropped the match 2-0 in Chapel Hill.

"I felt we responded well Sunday against North Carolina after we did not play that well against JMU," Wilk said.

Now the Cavaliers (9-5) set their sights on a Radford team (3-13) that is just coming off of a win versus Appalachian State but has had a tough season, losing four of their last five games. Radford is just the kind of game the Cavaliers need to restore some team confidence after their falter during the past few games.

"Our game plan is just to try and stay close against Virginia, and mainly give ourselves the opportunity to win," Radford Coach Jeff Woods said.

Although the Highlanders will try to keep it close, Virginia should be able to rely on the defense to do the job. Goalkeeper Becky Worthington and a backfield that had not allowed a score in six halves of play before the JMU game likely will respond with the play that Wilk and Virginia fans have come to expect.

"We are going to tighten up the defense and concentrate on our game on the defensive side of the ball," Wilk said.

The prospects for the Cavaliers look good, with Radford not being able to record a win against an ACC team all season, leaving their mark at 0-4 against ACC teams.

"Last year we had a pretty good outing against Virginia, and we got a chance to see them in the spring, so we are just going to try to build on that this time around," Woods said.

The No. 9 Cavaliers would like to continue Radford's drought against the ACC and begin to display the kind of play that has propelled the team to two consecutive NCAA Final Fours.

"Against Radford we are going to make the necessary corrections, as far as possessing the ball and finishing our attacks," Wilk said.

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