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No. 8 Virginia field hockey suffers tough overtime loss to No. 4 Duke in closely contested match

Despite falling 2-1 to the Blue Devils, the Cavaliers fired on all cylinders both offensively and defensively

<p>Though Virginia held the advantage in penalty corners 5-2, they ultimately fell in an overtime finish.</p>

Though Virginia held the advantage in penalty corners 5-2, they ultimately fell in an overtime finish.

No. 8 Virginia field hockey hosted No. 4 Duke at Turf Field in Charlottesville Friday afternoon. Though the nail-biter resulted in the Blue Devils (11-1, 4-0 ACC) edging out the Cavaliers (7-5, 1-3 ACC)  2-1 with just over three minutes left on the clock in overtime. 

The Cavaliers wasted no time in getting the first quarter started with determined offensive play. A penalty corner by sophomore midfielder Daniela Mendez-Trendler at the end of the 2nd minute resulted in a shot on goal by freshman defender Mia Abello that was saved by Duke senior goalkeeper Piper Hampsch. Further shots on goal were taken in the 5th minute by Mendez-Trendler — which was once again saved by Hampsch —  and by junior defender Jans Croon off a penalty corner by Mendez-Trendler, which went wide. 

The remaining 10 minutes of the first quarter passed without either team allowing offensive strikes from the other. Duke’s sole offensive strike in the first quarter came in the 13th minute from graduate student forward Hannah Miller but was saved by junior goalkeeper Tyler Kennedy. 

The second quarter saw a dynamic Duke offense gain traction, kicking off the quarter with possession. The Blue Devils dominated the second quarter with an exceedingly aggressive offensive run, and Virginia needed to work overtime defensively to keep Duke in check. 

And work they did. With one minute left on the clock, Duke put forth a fierce offensive attack, with two shots on goal less than 30 seconds apart by junior midfielder Kira Curland and Miller — both saved by Kennedy. Virginia shone with very strong defensive work as a team to fend off multiple attempted shots on goal by the Blue Devils. Halftime was called with a 0-0 draw. 

The third quarter was kicked off with possession by Duke, but the closely fought round saw the constant exchanging of possession between the Blue Devils and the Cavaliers. Virginia gained possession into the third quarter and was brought across the field by junior striker Taryn Tkachuk. Tkachuk made a pass to junior defender Emily Field, who held off the Blue Devils until a pass to graduate student midfielder Adele Iacobuci resulted in conceding the ball to Duke. A shot by Duke in the 33rd minute went wide, and in the 34th minute, the Cavaliers were in possession of the ball again.

The final minute of the third quarter once again saw brilliant defensive work by the Cavaliers. Virginia’s possession of the ball was intercepted in the final 30 seconds of the quarter, and a penalty corner by Miller was awarded to Duke with 17 seconds left on the clock. A first shot on goal came from sophomore midfielder Macy Szukics but was saved by Kennedy. A second attempted shot came from junior midfielder Logan Clouser, but the shot hit the post. 

Virginia went out hard offensively in the fourth quarter. Iacobucci kicked off the Cavaliers’ offensive momentum with a shot on goal in the 46th minute but was blocked by Duke. Mendez-Trendler kept the momentum going with a shot at the 47th minute but was once again blocked by Duke. The 51st minute of play saw a shot on goal by Pollock but was saved by Hampsch. A second shot in the 51st minute came immediately after by sophomore midfielder Caroline Nemec but was blocked by Duke. 

A penalty corner by sophomore midfielder Madison Orsi was awarded to Virginia after 51 minutes. The Cavaliers seized this opportunity, and at just over 51 minutes on the clock Abello scored her first collegiate goal for the Cavaliers to bring the score to 1-0 for Virginia. She was assisted by Orsi and sophomore midfielder Lauren Kenah. 

However, a penalty corner awarded to Duke in the 57th minute gave the Blue Devils the offensive opportunity they needed. Despite Virginia's efforts to keep Duke at bay — a shot at 57:33 by Szukics was blocked by the Cavaliers — the Blue Devils were ultimately able to get the ball in the net with a shot by Curland, evening the score to 1-1 by the end of the fourth quarter.

The game then went into overtime, with Virginia taking possession early in the period. Shots on goal by Iacabocci and Mendez-Trendler an hour in were both saved by Hampsch, however. Although Duke sophomore midfielder Alaina McVeigh was awarded a green card, taking the Blue Devils down to five players for two minutes, they were able to keep possession for the better part of the penalty until they were back to six players. With four minutes remaining, a shot by Croon was intercepted by Duke and shot into the goal by senior midfielder Charlie van Oirschot with three minutes left on the clock, bringing the score to 2-1 and ending the game with a victory for the Blue Devils.

The match ended with both teams taking 11 shots, with Virginia holding a 5-2 edge in penalty corners. In an altogether excellent showing, the Cavaliers were just edged out by the Blue Devils.

“The team can’t ask themselves to play better,” Coach Michele Madison said. “We had our chances and some very near misses. It’s a game of inches and they got this one today.”

Despite the loss,  the game showcased the best of Virginia field hockey, featuring a resilient offensive effort and a resolute defense that for the better part of the game kept an aggressive Duke offense at bay. Virginia will look to carry this momentum into future games, which will bode well for them in upcoming close matchups. 

The Cavaliers are slated to face Wake Forest Friday at Winston-Salem, N.C., with the start time set for 5 p.m. 


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