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Virginia field hockey team drops spring opener to Duke

Virginia field hockey team drops spring opener to Duke

UVa hockey

Virginia's Amber Ezechiels controls the ball during the Cavaliers' loss to Duke on Friday.

Only one team, Duke, held the Virginia field hockey team scoreless during the team’s fall season. The Blue Devils achieved the feat again Friday, shutting down the Cavaliers’ impressive offensive attack.

Virginia (4-8) opened its spring schedule with a 2-0 loss to Duke. The Cavaliers were competitive in the matchup, but the Blue Devils capitalized on their scoring chances. Virginia didn’t do the same.

“I think we have people trying to win it for the team,” Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. “Heroes don’t work in this game. You have to do it as a team.”

The win is Duke’s first in Charlottesville since 2015.

Duke attempted 12 shots in the game, while UVa tallied 13. The Cavaliers put seven shots on goal, including a few near-goals, while the Blue Devils recorded six shots on goal. The difference was Duke’s finishing touch near the goal, which was a bit more effective than UVa’s.

While a few Virginia chances came just shy of reaching the back of the net, Duke turned two quality opportunities into second-half goals. Both came off the stick of freshman midfielder Darcy Bourne. She also scored in Duke’s 2-0 win over UVa during the fall.

Bourne’s first goal Friday came in the opening six minutes of the second half, giving Duke a 1-0 lead despite UVa looking strong in the first half. Virginia tallied seven first-half shots compared to Duke’s four, and the Cavaliers seemed to be the aggressor, especially in the second quarter.

“I saw a lot of good things in the first quarter,” Madison said. “I thought we denied them many opportunities in the attack zone, but we didn’t capitalize, so that’s always an issue. You’ve got to make them pay for it.”

After Bourne’s early goal, the Cavaliers seemed to momentarily regain momentum. They pressured the Blue Devils as they looked for a game-tying score. Despite consistent attacking, UVa couldn’t break through with a goal.

Sophomore striker Laura Janssen led Virginia with four shots, and she helped bring the Cavaliers close to a goal. Unfortunately for the Wahoos, her shots didn’t result in goals.

Duke freshman goalkeeper Piper Hampsch recorded seven saves, playing one of the best games of her young career.

“I felt super confident coming into the cage with more experience,” Hampsch said via a Duke release, “so I think it was a great start to the season to get a win on the road against a team we’ve seen before.”

The Blue Devils started the fourth quarter well, generating a few scoring chances after a few slow spells at the end of the third quarter. They capitalized on a penalty corner with just under nine minutes left. Bourne ripped a shot into the back of the goal, giving Duke a commanding 2-0 lead.

UVa tried to put pressure on the Blue Devils in the final half of the fourth quarter, but the Wahoos couldn’t string together consistent possessions. As a result, they lost their first game of the spring.

Even after the defeat, Madison was excited for her team to be in game action during the spring.

“This is really a historic moment really to have a spring season,” Madison said. “It makes the spring really fun, to gear up for real competition and not just play days. I think you grow in competition. You only get better by competing.”

Virginia’s next game comes on March 13 at Louisville. The Cardinals beat UVa three times in the fall.

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