Nov. 14, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 7 Virginia field hockey team (15-5, 3-3 ACC) will take on No. 10 Massachusetts (18-4, 7-0 A10) on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at Duke's Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium in Durham, N.C.
The winner of the UMass/Virginia game will advance to a quarterfinal matchup on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m., taking on the winner of No. 5 Duke (14-6) and No. 6 New Hampshire (15-6).
Duke is the No. 4 seed in the tournament. Maryland is the top overall seed in the tournament, while Syracuse is No. 2 and North Carolina is seeded third. The winner of each of the four sites will advance to the NCAA semifinals on Nov. 22 at Powhatan Sports Complex at Old Dominion University. The national championship game will take place on Nov. 24 in Norfolk, Va.
This is the 19th trip to NCAA Tournament for the Cavaliers and their seventh in head coach Michele Madison's eight seasons at Virginia. Last year, Virginia advanced to the quarterfinals before falling, 5-2, to eventual-national champion Princeton. The Cavaliers have made four trips to the NCAA semifinals (1997, 1998, 2009, 2010), but are still looking for their first national championship game appearance.
All seven ACC teams will be playing in this year's tournament, the second time that the entire league is postseason bound, as all five ACC squads in 1999 were awarded bids. At least half of the league has earned a bid for 19 straight years. ACC field hockey teams have won 10 of the last 11 national championships and 17 overall. The national championship game has been an all-ACC matchup in eight of the last 10 years.
UMass won the 2013 Atlantic 10 Tournament to earn the automatic berth into the postseason after posting a 7-0 record in conference play this season. UMass holds a 4-3-1 advantage over the Cavaliers in the all-time series with UVa winning the last two meetings. The Cavaliers and Minutewomen last faced one another in the season-opener of the 1999 season with Virginia earning a 2-1 overtime victory.
The Cavaliers and Blue Devils finished the regular season tied for third place in the ACC. Virginia leads the all-time series against Duke, 32-17, with the two teams splitting a pair of appearances this season. Virginia tallied a 4-3 victory over the Blue Devils on Oct. 18 in Charlottesville with senior forward Elly Buckley (Scarborough, Perth, Australia) scoring three of Virginia's four goals and subsequently earned her second ACC Player of the Week honor for her efforts. Duke defeated Virginia, 2-1, in the first round of the ACC Tournament (Nov. 7) in Newton, Mass. with Caleigh Foust (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) scoring the lone goal for the Cavaliers off a pass from Buckley.
Virginia has won the last two meetings against New Hampshire, with the two schools knotted 3-3-2 in the all-time series. The Wildcats earned automatic qualifier status into the NCAA tournament by virtue of winning the 2013 America East Championship with a 4-0 victory against Fairfield in a Nov. 7 semifinal and 3-2 win vs. 16th-ranked Albany in the Nov. 9 title game at UNH's Memorial Field.
This will be the Wildcats' 10th NCAA tournament appearance. They most recently advanced to the NCAAs in 2011, when they played the Michigan in the first round after winning the America East Championship title. The 'Cats advanced to the NCAAs five consecutive years (1983-87) and six times overall in the 1980s. The other appearances were in 1998 and 2000.
Virginia will need to snap a two-game losing streak to advance to the quarterfinals after suffering back-to-back losses to Maryland and Duke. Virginia has not lost three games in a row since the 2011 season.
Buckley, who had an assist in the Duke ACC Tournament game, continues to lead the ACC in shots (137), shots per game (6.85), points (48), points per game (2.40), goals (20), goals per game (1.00) and defensive saves (5). Buckley is ranked third in the NCAA in points per game and fifth in goals per game.
Buckley was named to the All-ACC First Team last week, one of just 11 players in conference history to earn All-ACC honors four times, joining Cavalier alum Paige Selenski (2008-10, 2012) on that elite list.
Buckley will finish her career ranked third on the Cavalier career points list, coming into the NCAA Tournament with 181 points. Meredith Thorpe (1995-98) is second on the career list with 230 points. Buckley is currently fourth on the Cavalier career goals list with 73. Cindy Carzo (1976-79) ranks third with 84 goals. Buckley is also fourth on the career defensive saves list with 10.
First-year midfielder Lucy Hyams (Whitstable, Kent, England) was named the ACC Freshman of the year, joining Selenski, Thorpe and Meredith Elwell (1996) on the list of Cavalier field hockey players who have earned the ACC Freshman of the Year honor. She also earned Second-Team All-ACC honors. Hyams has 10 assists this season, ranking her sixth in the conference. Hyams is currently one assist shy of tying the Virginia freshman class record of 11, held by Buckley.
Senior Carissa Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) was also named to the All-ACC Second Team. Vittese has played defensive sweeper for the Cavaliers this season, helping to lead Virginia to six shutouts. Vittese made the game-deciding shot in the sudden-death penalty shot in the 2-1 victory over Richmond (Sept. 11) this season.
Freshman Caleigh Foust (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) scored her tenth goal of the season in the ACC Tournament game against Duke. Foust is one of three freshman, along with Hyams and Riley Tata (Virginia Beach, Va.), to be tied for third on the team in scoring. The trio each have 20 points this season.
Head coach Michele Madison, who will be inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame next Wednesday (Nov. 20), comes into the weekend with a record of 116-58-0 in her eight seasons at Virginia. She is presently two wins shy of tying Linda Southworth for all-time wins at UVa. Southworth coached the Cavaliers from 1975-1982, compiling a 118-32-4 record in her eight seasons at the helm.