The sixth-ranked Virginia field hockey team disposed of its third ranked opponent of the season and took care of business against unranked Miami, Ohio to improve to 6-0. The Cavaliers traveled to No. 11 Louisville Friday and came out victorious by a score of 4-3, then edged the RedHawks, 1-0, Sunday.
Virginia never trailed the Cardinals in Friday’s matchup. Junior midfielder Lucy Hyams scored just over nine minutes into the game to open scoring, then sophomore midfielder Tara Vittese — who leads the Cavaliers in scoring — doubled the lead five minutes later. Louisville closed the gap with a tally with three minutes to play in the first half.
Vittese restored the two-goal lead after converting a penalty stroke 10 minutes into the second half. Louisville responded once again, but could not pull even. Freshman striker Bailey Fanikos put Virginia up 4-2 just a minute after the Cardinals pulled within one. Louisville scored once more with under two minutes remaining but was unable to find the equalizer.
Sunday’s matchup saw significantly less offense than the Louisville game, but the end result was the same. Despite not being able to find the back of the net for the entirety of the first half, Virginia did not get frustrated. It continued to put pressure on the RedHawks’ net until junior striker Riley Tata broke the tie nearly 16 minutes into the second half.
With the 1-0 victory, the Cavaliers have now won their last five of their games in 2015 by a single goal. However, Virginia has strength at the goaltending position, with two capable starters in redshirt freshman Carrera Lucas and junior Rebecca Holden, giving the team an edge in tight games. The tandem goaltenders have produced two shutouts thus far.
With the conclusion of Sunday’s game, Virginia’s first four game road slate is finished. It returns home Friday to take on ACC foe and the nation’s fourth-ranked team, Duke.