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No. 12 Virginia field hockey looks to get back on track against No. 17 Old Dominion

After falling to the Monarchs earlier this season, the Cavaliers are aiming to make necessary adjustments

<p>Virginia will have to show improvement on both offense and defense in order to defeat Old Dominion this time around.</p>

Virginia will have to show improvement on both offense and defense in order to defeat Old Dominion this time around.

The No. 19 ranked Virginia field hockey team will travel to the L.R. Hill Sports Complex in Norfolk, Va. Sunday to face off against No. 17 Old Dominion. The Cavaliers (7-5, 2-2 ACC) will be looking to avenge their 2-1 loss Sept. 26 when the Monarchs (9-3, 3-1 BIG EAST) scored twice in the final 10 minutes to complete a come-from-behind victory.

The Cavaliers have struggled of late, losing three of their last four contests. The Virginia offense has had an especially hard time getting going recently, managing just one total goal in back-to-back overtime losses against Maryland and Boston College last week.       

Senior back Amber Ezechiels will be an important factor for Virginia in Sunday’s game. Ezechiels was a preseason All-ACC selection and has lived up to expectations with stellar play this season, as she leads the team with both five goals and 13 points. 

Ezechiels scored the Cavaliers’ only goal in their last matchup with Old Dominion and was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week Oct. 5 thanks to her two-goal performance against Duke.

Old Dominion will head to Providence for a conference matchup with the Friars on Friday before returning home to host the Cavaliers.

The Monarchs had been red-hot in late September and early October, but they saw their five-game winning streak snapped on the road at Duke Oct. 10 by a score of 5-1. Old Dominion outshot the Blue Devils 15-13 and had more shots on goal in the contest, but Duke’s eight saves proved to be the difference. 

Virginia will have to watch out for sophomore forward Marlon de Bruijne who leads the Monarchs with 10 goals and 24 points. De Bruijne is also tied for the Big East lead in game-winning goals with three.

The bout with the Monarchs will be Virginia’s 10th game against a ranked opponent already this season. They’ve had mixed results so far, going 4-5 in those games.

Things don’t get any easier for the Cavaliers after Sunday’s game. They’ll host William & Mary on Wednesday before traveling to No. 8 Syracuse on Friday to take on the Orange, who are 10-2 overall and tied atop the ACC standings. Finally, Virginia will return home to close out its season with games against Drexel and another important conference matchup against No. 9 North Carolina.

Sunday’s game will begin at 1 p.m. and will be available to stream on ACC Network X.