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Virginia field hockey team drops season opener to Wake Forest

Virginia field hockey team drops season opener to Wake Forest

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UVa hockey

Wake Forest players celebrate during their 2-1 victory over Virginia on Saturday at the UVa Turf Field.

The Virginia field hockey team opened the 2020 season with a 2-1 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday at the UVa Turf Field. The loss does not count in the conference standings for the Cavaliers.

Virginia (0-1) took an early 1-0 lead, but Wake Forest (1-1) scored two goals in the second half to pick up the victory.

The Cavaliers got on the scoreboard early, when sophomore midfielder Adele Iacobucci deflected in a shot from junior back Amber Ezechiels after a corner just 3:31 into the game.

After its initial goal, Virginia had two other first-half shots make it into the corner of the net, including a bullet from freshman midfielder Anneloes Knol, but both goals were whistled off by the officials.

“It was a really good game,” Virginia coach Michele Madison said. “I thought in the first half we were able to come out and establish our passing game and put some pressure on the goal. To have two goals called back, we just didn’t respond. We didn’t rebound from that. It could have been a different game if one of those goals had gone in.”

Wake Forest tied the game in the third quarter on an Eleanor Winants goal. Four minutes into the fourth quarter, the Demon Deacons fired off a flurry of shots at sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Henriksen with the fourth attempt making it in to give Wake Forest the lead for good.

“I thought Wake Forest owned the second half,” Madison said. “They were able to beat our press, especially in the fourth quarter. We have some tape to look at to figure it out.”

Despite the season-opening loss, Madison was grateful for the chance to be on the field again with her team after an offseason of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was amazing to be out on the field playing today,” Madison said. “I was waiting for that whistle to blow. And that whistle blew and it was awesome. And it was awesome to compete against another opponent.”

The two teams play again Sunday at noon, with that match counting in the ACC standings. The match will be televised on the ACC Network.

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