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No. 8 field hockey falls to No. 17 Boston College, defeats No. 22 Old Dominion in overtime

Virginia’s offense struggled to produce against No. 17 Boston College, but rebounded with an overtime win against No. 22 Old Dominion

<p>The Cavaliers were tested by the strong Eagle defense and were unable to produce any goals against Boston College. In a rebounding effort, however, Virginia recorded an overtime win against Old Dominion.&nbsp;</p>

The Cavaliers were tested by the strong Eagle defense and were unable to produce any goals against Boston College. In a rebounding effort, however, Virginia recorded an overtime win against Old Dominion. 

No. 8 Virginia suffered a 1-0 home defeat to No. 17 Boston College Friday but bounced back to secure a tight overtime win over No. 22 Old Dominion Sunday at Turf Field. The Cavaliers (9-3, 1-2 ACC) failed to produce any goals in a subpar offensive performance against the Eagles (5-5, 2-1 ACC). However, Virginia found its rhythm against the Monarchs (6-4, 2-1 Big East) to avoid a weekend sweep.

In a highly anticipated top-25 matchup between two ACC contenders, Boston College brought their best defensive effort, frustrating the Cavaliers and preventing them from establishing any flow to their offense. Virginia had plenty of opportunities to score, registering 10 shots in the game, but the Eagles made just enough defensive plays to blank the Cavaliers.

Both teams came out with an aggressive offensive attack in the first quarter, with the Cavaliers registering four shots and the Eagles contributing five. Virginia had a corner opportunity three times in the first quarter and Boston College had two, but neither team could convert their chances.

The coaches for both teams made defensive adjustments prior to the start of the second quarter, as the Cavaliers and Eagles only registered one shot apiece in the frame. However, Boston College made the most of their only chance on a penalty corner. Junior midfielder Fusine Govaert found the back of the net on a goal that was set with precise passing and assists from freshman forward Margo Carlin and freshman back Darcy Clement.

Down 1-0 entering halftime, Coach Michele Madison knew her offense had to make a play to get back into the game, and the Cavaliers came out of the half dominating the point of attack. Virginia had five shots in the third quarter while the Eagles only registered one shot. However,  the Eagles made just enough plays to keep the Cavaliers from scoring. On a promising corner opportunity set up by senior back Anzel Viljoen, sophomore back Amber Ezechiels had her shot blocked, as the Cavaliers surrendered their best chance of the quarter.

Virginia’s offense could not find its rhythm in the fourth period, failing to produce a shot as the Eagles went on to preserve the shutout victory.

Despite its struggles against Boston College, Virginia bounced back and secured an impressive victory Sunday over another ranked opponent in No. 22 Old Dominion. 

The Cavaliers came out of the gates strong, with sophomore midfielder Annie McDonough netting her first goal of the season just 1:27 into the game. The goal proved to be just the momentum the Cavaliers needed to find their footing. Virginia went on to allow just one shot the rest of the period and maintained possession in the Monarchs’ half for the majority of the frame.

Old Dominion and Virginia battled defensively until the Monarchs finally cracked the Cavaliers’ stingy defense to tie the game at one with under three minutes to play in the second quarter. Freshman back Nicole Fredricks found the back of the net for her first goal of the season off of an assist by sophomore midfielder Riley Taylor. 

The Monarchs jumped on the Cavaliers midway through the third period. Sophomore forward Erin Huffman scored her first goal of the game off an assist from freshman back Alice Demars. However, Viljoen responded for the Cavaliers just over a minute later for her fourth goal of the season, tying the game at two apiece. 

After testing Old Dominion’s defense with just six shots over the first three quarters, Virginia began the fourth quarter with an explosive offensive attack. The Cavaliers fired seven shots in the fourth quarter alone, but the Monarchs held strong to maintain the 2-2 tie heading into overtime. Old Dominion sophomore goalkeeper Cam MacGillivray was especially impressive, turning away three of those shots in her best stretch of the game.

Virginia kept its gas on the pedal in the extra frame and at 1:27 into overtime, McDonough scored her second goal of the game and season off an assist from junior striker Makayla Gallen.

The Cavaliers managed to salvage a win to conclude their weekend series, but the team finishes the stretch with defensive concerns. Virginia has allowed nine goals in the past four games after giving up just six in the eight games prior.

Virginia will return to ACC play in a road game against Louisville Friday at 6:00 p.m. The game will be televised on ACC Network Extra.

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