CARDS FH FACES VIRGINIA TODAY
The 2020 ACC Field Hockey Tournament is off and running and three matches took place yesterday. In quarterfinal action, Virginia bested Wake Forest 2-1, North Carolina had no trouble with Boston College 4-0 and Syracuse got a goal in overtime to defeat Duke 3-2. Here's a recap of the quarters:
VIRGINIA 2 - WAKE FOREST 1
Laura Janssen scored both the Cavalier goals to open quarterfinal action in a 2-1 win over the Demon Deacons. With the win, Virginia advances to the semifinals to face Louisville today at 1:30 on Karen Shelton Field in Chapel Hill on the North Carolina campus. The #4 seed Virginia squad got the first score of the contest when they earned a penalty corner with 58 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Janssen took a deflected shot by Wake Forest goalkeeper Tori Glaister and sent it back past the Wake goalie to make it 1-0 UVA
No other scores occurred in the remainder of the first half.
Wake Forest came back to tie the match with 7:29 remaining in the third quarter. The Deacs earned a penalty stroke off an illegal touching of the ball in front of the goal and Alexis Grippo won the one-on-one battle against Virginia goalkeeper Laura Hausheer to make it 1-1. The squads went into the fourth quarter locked up at 1-1 and were even in shots taken at eight each.
The game decider came just 1:11 into the fourth quarter. Virginia drew a penalty corner and , once again, Janssen tracked down a missed goal attempt and scooted the loose ball into the goal for a 2-1 Virginia lead that the Cavs would not relinquish the rest of the way.
NORTH CAROLINA 4 - BOSTON COLLEGE 0
The #2 seeded North Carolina Tar Heels had little trouble against a #7 College squad that was playing only their third game of the fall season with a convincing 4-0 sweep of the Eagles.
Payton Wirth got the Tar Heels on the board for the first time midway through the first quarter when she field an attempt from the left side of the net that got past B.C goalkeeper Jonna Kennedy. The unassisted score made it 1-0 and that's the way the first quarter ended. UNC would look to Wirth again in the second quarter and the sophomore got her second score with about 12 minutes left in the second frame off a rebound on a penalty corrner attempt to give UNC a 2-0 lead that they would take to halftime.
The squads played a scoreless third quarter until the final 44 seconds, when Madison Orobono tracked down a blocked shot by Kennedy and knocked it past the BC defense to set the tally at 3-0. UNC would add a final goal with a little over two minutes remaining in the game, Erin Matson following up a blocked shot on a UNC penalty corner attempt and drilling the rebound into the back of the net for the Tar Heels final score of the contest.
UNC held a 26-13 advantage in shots in the second quarterfinal game and dre 15 penalty corners, compared to five for Boston College. Wake goalie Kennedy was busy, collecting 11 saves and North Carolina goalie Amanda Hendry turned away nine Boston College attempts.
The win was legendary UNC head coach Karen Shelton's 700th of her career.
SYRACUSE 3 - DUKE 2
The #3 seed Syracuse spotted #6 seed Duke two first quarter goals but rallied back to tie the contest and force an overtime. In the "first score wins" extra session, the Orange got the victory to advance to the semifinals.
Early on, it was all Duke. Just a minute into the contest, the Blue Devils found Alayna Burns wide open in front of the net and she blasted a shot past Syracuse goalkeeper Piper Hampsch to make it 1-0. Nine minutes later, the Durham squad found success again when Darcy Bourne took the feed on a penalty corner and tallied the Blue Devils second score. Duke scored a third time in the quarter but the call was reversed and the initial period ended with Duke on top 2-0.
Syracuse methodically battled back and found success five minutes into the second quarter. Laura Graziosi took a feed a let a missile loose from the left side of the circle after some fancy footwork and drew the Orange within one. The half ended with the score 2-1 Duke leading.
Eefke van der Niewenhof tied the contest up with a shot off a penalty corner after 5:22 of play in the third quarter. Try as they might, neither squad could find a deciding goal in the fourth quarter and the squads went to overtime.
Overtime in college Field Hockey is a 7-vs-7 set up on the pitch, with each team using a goalie and six other players. It opens up the field quite a bit and the action is a bit more frentic and fast-paced than in the regular time.
Duke's upset bid ended rather quickly in overtime. With just 2:56 expired in the ten-minute overtime, Syracuse's Graziosi created a steal from the Duke attack and took the ball in front of Syracuse goal, where she fired a missile past Hampsch for the game winner.
So, the action held true to seedings yesterday, as the #2, #2 and #4 seed advance to he semis. Let's take a look at Louisville vs. Virginia today:
LOUSIVILLE VS VIRGINIA
The Louisville Cardinals come into the semi-final tilt against UVA with a 7-1 record. The Cards scored two victories over the Cavaliers in the fall regular season matches. Louisville defeated UVA 5-2 on October 23rd and 2-1 on the 24th.
In the first match, the Cards took it took the home-standing UVA squad early with two first quarter goals, one by Mercedes Pastor and the other from Aimee Plumb. The Cards led 2-1 at the half, but Pastor found success early in the third quarter with a score and, after a Virginia score, Madison Walsh gave the Cards a 4-2 lead after three. The Cards would get a final score from Margot Lawn with about four minutes left in the contest for a convincing 5-2 win.
The following day, UVA gave the Cards a much tougher contest. The two squad battled through a scoreless first half and it wasn't until midway through the third quarter that UofL got on the board, when Pastor knocked in a shot on a penalty corner. UVA would tie it with six minutes gone in the fourth quarter but Louisville got the win as time was running out of regulation when Charlie van Oirschot intercepted a Cavalier pass, forwarded the ball to Pastor and she fed Madison Walsh near the UVA goal.
Walsh took aim and managed to scoot the ball between the legs of UVA goalie Laura Hausheer with 10 second left in the match...for the 2-1 Cardinal "W".
What do I expect today? First off, the weather won't be a factor with ideal conditions, sunny skies, no rain threat and unseasonably warm temps expected in Chapel Hill in the mid seventies for the early afternoon opening pass-back. The only dubious factor is the annoying shadows cast on Karen Shelton Field in early afternoon contests.
The Cards can expect an intense effort from the Hoos to shut down Pastor, but this is a Louisville team with plenty of scoring options -- so we might see Lawn, Walsh, Erica Cooper and a multitude of other Cards take aim at the UVA net.
Defensively, Louisville will rely on the strong goal-tending abilities of Hollyn Barr and the defensive play of Alli Bitting and Megan Schneider to keep the ball away from danger. I'll guess a 4-1 Louisville win over UVA and also predict that UNC will hold field against Syracuse to set up a Cards vs Heels final on Sunday. A tired UVA squad might have trouble keeping up with the fresh-legged Cardinals, UVA's opening match forced them to exert a lot of effort and energy.
As mentioned earlier, game time for Louisville vs Virginia is 1:30 p.m. and the Orange and Heels will follow about an hour after the first game is completed. The matches are being shown on the ACC Network and the commentary/play-by-play has been quite good and accurate so far.