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Cavaliers produce record-setting weekend

Team tops Towson 14-0, upsets No. 3 Old Dominion

The 2012 season has barely begun, but the No. 8 Virginia field hockey team has already had one of its best weekends in program history.

The Cavaliers (4-1) broke the single-game record for goals scored Friday, beating Towson 14-0. They followed with a 5-4 upset against No. 3 Old Dominion Sunday to conclude a three-game homestand in which they outscored their opponents 25-5.

“We were able to get some good attack going, and that always helps,” coach Michelle Madison said. “There’s still a lot of work of course — just staying consistent through the game. But the team fought for the games, and we were able to pull it off.”

Redshirt senior forward Paige Selenski also etched herself in the Virginia record book with her 10-point performance against Towson (0-4), which tied for second-most points scored in a single game in Cavalier history. Selenski lead the team with six goals and three assists on the weekend.

Selenski jumpstarted the attack against Towson with an unassisted goal less than one minute into the game. That score foreshadowed the Tigers’ future. Towson, which Virginia outshot 44-2, seemed unable to hold possession for any significant amount of time, giving the Cavaliers numerous offensive opportunities and 29 shots on goal.

“It was a great team effort,” junior back Elly Buckley said. “We played really well as a team, and it was awesome. [Defensively] our communication was really good and we’re playing our system really well. That’s all we can ask for.”

Selenski and Buckley led the team with four goals each, while sophomore forward Rachel Sumfest came off the bench for two goals of her own. Freshman goalkeeper Rebecca Holden earned the win, moving to 1-1 on the season.

“We were just focused on keeping our game plan and staying disciplined,” Madison said. “We were able to play a lot of people and clear the bench, giving us a lot of different looks.”

Although Friday’s victory made history, Virginia’s most impressive win of the weekend came against Old Dominion, a team that had downed No. 1 Maryland two days earlier.

Old Dominion struck first with an unassisted goal by sophomore forward Rosario Villagra in the second minute. Less than five minutes later Selenski found the net after gaining possession from a missed penalty corner. Shortly after, play was suspended due to lightning.

“At the rain delay we just tried to relax the players,” Madison said. “We made a few corrections on the press and reinforced some attack principles.”

Coming back after more than an hour of suspended play, the Cavaliers didn’t lose any momentum. Selenski opened with an unassisted goal, putting Virginia in the lead. Later in the half, junior midfielder Carissa Vittese knocked in an unassisted goal of her own, and Buckley found the net on a successful penalty corner for a 4-2 halftime lead.

“ODU is always a really physical team,” Selenski said. “They’re really organized and structured and have a great coach. They work really well together, and you can see that with their passing, but I’m really happy with the way we came out and put a lot of pressure on them.”

In the first twenty minutes of the second half, both teams were able to keep each other away
from the goal with stellar defensive play. But with just less than 16 minutes left in the game,
Buckley took a successful penalty corner, giving Virginia a critical fifth goal. ODU mounted a
comeback, scoring two goals in the span of three minutes, but the Cavaliers were able to outlast
the offensive burst.

“We knew what they were going to do, but it’s not easy to stop them,” Madison said. “We’re both
very technical teams, hence the close score of 5-4.”

The Cavaliers outshot the Monarchs 15-12 but gave up more penalty corners, by a margin of
7-6. Sophomore Jenny Johnson earned the win for the Cavalier in the net, despite allowing a
season-high four goals. The victory moved her to 3-0 on the season and helped Virginia make an
important early-season statement against a favored team.

“I think this is a really big win for us,” Selenski said. “…I think there are some areas we still need to improve on, but it’s really important to grow every game, which I think we’re doing.”