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No. 8 field hockey secures two wins over the weekend

The Cavaliers dominated on both sides of the turf in wins against William & Mary and Towson

<p>Freshman back Jans Croon was in the starting lineup for the third time this season, making one shot on goal this weekend.</p>

Freshman back Jans Croon was in the starting lineup for the third time this season, making one shot on goal this weekend.

No. 8 Virginia picked up two wins this weekend, triumphing over two CAA teams. The Cavaliers (3-1, 0-0 ACC) smothered William & Mary in a 5-0 rout in Williamsburg before overpowering Towson 3-0 in a commanding home victory.

Game 1 — Virginia 5, William and Mary 0

After a quiet first quarter, Virginia put themselves on the board with a deflection of senior back Amber Ezechiels’ shot by junior midfielder Adele Iacobucci in the middle of the second period. However, the Tribe (0-2, 0-0 CAA) would continue to hold their own against the Cavaliers, carrying a slight 1-0 deficit going into halftime. 

Virginia came out of the break motivated and made the proper adjustments in the third period. Senior striker Peyton Tollakson deftly found a loose ball off a preceding shot and was able to score with 8:14 left in the third quarter. Moments later, junior striker Laura Janssen took advantage of a 2-v-1 against William & Mary’s goalie, assisting senior midfielder Annie McDonough to put the Cavaliers up 3-0. As time was expiring in the third period, McDonough struck again — this time, assisted by sophomore striker Esha Sha. 

“This game was the tale of two different halves,” Coach Michele Madison said. “We are able to move the ball well, draw some corners and capitalize on the set situations.” 

Tollakson scored yet again with 6:42 left in the fourth quarter making it 5-0. Virginia would maintain this lead to the final buzzer and ultimately, the difference in this game was discipline — Virginia received six penalty corners to the Tribes’ one.

“Today was a total team effort against a well-coached William & Mary team,” Madison said.

Game 2 — Virginia 3, Towson 0

The Cavaliers maintained their momentum and presented the Tigers (0-3, 0-0 CAA) with an onslaught of offense and stifled them on the defensive end. Virginia earned its first goal off a penalty corner at the end of the first period. Iacobucci assisted an open Ezechiels to put the Cavaliers ahead 1-0. Ezechiels has scored or assisted in each game this season for Virginia, earning a team-leading seven points.

The Cavaliers were able to shoot 17 times in the second quarter but were unable to capitalize on these opportunities until after halftime. Junior midfielder Danielle Husar crossed the ball to freshman striker Noa Boterman for her second goal of the season in the third. Soon after, freshman striker Taryn Tkachuk scored a penalty stroke — the first goal of her collegiate career- making the score 3-0.

“They’re very good at circle defense and their goalkeeper was outstanding,” Madison said. “We work on creating chances and getting the shot off, which we did because it was on target, but their goalie was phenomenal and with a goalie like that you have to jump on the rebounds. You want to try to get the second and third shot.”

Virginia outshot Towson an incredible 53-1 and earned an equally remarkable 22 penalty corners. This is the most shots the Cavaliers have taken since at least 2008. Senior Taylor Henriksen started on the goal and made the only Virginia save in the game. She earned a combined shutout with freshman Tyler Kennedy who started the second half. For the Tigers, graduate student goalkeeper Lena Vandam made 22 saves — the most by any player in a single game so far this season.

“I’m happy about our offensive output, our ability to create, attack and grow,” Madison said. “To create all of those shots and corners, that’s amazing.”

The Cavaliers seek to continue their success this Friday at 7 p.m. in a home match against Miami of Ohio.

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