Virginia Advances to ACC Field Hockey Semifinals with 5-2 Win Over Duke
Nov. 6, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. - The Virginia Cavaliers, the ACC's No. 4 seed in the tournament, advanced to the championship's second round this afternoon with a hard-fought 5-2 win against fifth-seed Duke at Jack Katz Stadium in Durham, N.C. The Cavaliers, ranked No. 12 nationally, improved to 14-5 on the season while Duke, ranked fifth, fell to 13-7.
Virginia opened the scoring in the third minute as junior Traci Ragukas scored off a cross off the right side from freshman All-ACC honoree Paige Selenski. It was Ragukas' first goal of the season.
"That is how we always want to come out.," said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. "The goal was to put the pressure on their backfield and make them play the ball as much as possible."
With nine minutes remaining before the half, Duke senior Ashley Pultorak scored the equalizer off a rebounded shot. The unassisted goal was her fourth of the season.
In the final five minutes of the first half, the Cavaliers pushed two goals across to take a 3-1 lead into the halftime break. Selenski scored her third point of the match and 17th goal of the season off the stick of fellow freshman Michelle Vittese from the top of the circle. With 1:17 left in the period, Vittese scored a goal of her own off an assist from senior All-ACC selection Inge Kaars Sijpesteijn.
In the 42nd minute, freshman Floor Vogels pushed the Cavalier advantage to 4-1 on a penalty corner. Sijpesteijn made her second assist of the game on Vogels seventh goal of the season.
With just under 11 minutes remaining in the game, junior Amie Survilla scored her 16th goal of the season to cut into the Virginia advantage, 4-2. She was assisted by freshman Lauren Miller.
Three minutes later, Virginia upped the lead to 5-2 with Ragukas' second goal of the season. She converted on a feed off the right side from Selenski.
"They were feeding Paige (Selenski) the ball well and into the spaces," added Madison. "Traci (Ragukas) knows how to read the passes really well and Michelle (Vittese) was another catalyst in the middle. They just took it to them. We felt like we were faster than their backfield and we just tried to use our speed."
For the game, the Cavaliers posted 18 total shots, including 13 shots on goal. Leading the Cavs was Ragukas, a junior from Sweet Valley, Pa. She has now scored two goals each of the last two seasons in the first round of the ACC Championship. In both matches, Virginia defeated the host institution.
Tomorrow Virginia will face another stiff test when they take on Maryland, the nation's top-ranked team, at 4:00 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to the ACC Championship final, which will be played at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.