Somewhat lost in the shuffle this past week and a half or so is the tremendous success of our Olympic sports. Currently, seven of Virginia’s nine fall sports programs are nationally ranked: field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s cross country. Each of these programs that competed this past week enjoyed considerable success, and a quick-hits update follows after the jump.
Virginia Field Hockey, ranked nationally No. 1 by womensfieldhockey.com and No. 3 by the NFHCA, defended its undefeated record this season by defeated Cornell 5-2 on Sunday afternoon. The Cavaliers used a second half surge of four goals to seal the victory and advance to 9-0 for the second consecutive season. No rest for the weary though, as the Hoos face undefeated Maryland, 8-0 (2-0 ACC) at 5:00 on Friday. The No. 2-ranked Terrapins and Virginia are two of the four remaining unbeatens in the country.
Since falling to No. 12 Wake Forest in Charlottesville a week and a half ago, the Virginia men’s soccer team has not missed a beat. Not only have they not lost a game since, but they haven’t allowed a single goal. Granted, the schedule since has not been particularly trying, including last night’s 2-0 victory over Longwood, a squad that is now 0-8-1, a 1-0 win over ACC foe Clemson (who with the loss, fell to 1-4-1 (0-2-1 ACC), and a 2-0 win over American. A major challenge faces Will Bates, Ari Dimas, Diego Restrepo and company as the No. 3 Cavaliers face No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels this Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
The 9th ranked women’s squad takes on the No. 7 Maryland Thursday night in an epic ACC matchup. Maryland is undefeated on the season at 8-0-1, while Virginia, at 7-1-1, suffered its first defeat at the hands of West Virginia. The Cavaliers rebounded nicely from the loss, however, defeating in-state rival and ACC foe Virginia Tech handedly, 3-0. Kickoff against the Terrapins is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at College Park.
Men’s and Women’s Golf
Both golf teams saw action this week, with the men competing at the prestigious Ping-Golfweek Fall Preview at Oklahoma State. Junior Ben Kohles finished in sixth place individually at 4-over 220 on the course that will host the NCAA Championships next spring. It marked the 10th top-10 finish in his UVa career. The Cavaliers finished 10th overall and was the ACC’s second best finisher, behind Georgia Tech, who placed seventh at 892.
Meanwhile, the women claimed the Golfweek Conference Challenge in its first victory since 2008. Brittany Altomare won her first individual title at the event, and you can read all about the women’s successes in Whitney’s latest post.
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams are off to a fast pace this year, with the men being ranked No. 22 while the women are sitting at No. 16. Redshirt junior Ryan Collins was named the ACC Men’s Cross Country Performer of the Week, while redshirt senior Stephanie Garcia shared the Women's Cross Country honor after their performances at the Lou Onesty Open. Garcia won the 5K, capturing her first-ever individual meet victory. Both squads return to action this Friday in Pennsylvania at the Paul Short Invitational.
Volleyball has been the only program this fall that has been struggling. The Cavaliers are fresh off a four-set match loss at Miami this past weekend, by set scores of 25-22, 18-25, 20-25 and 24-26. With the loss, the Hoos fall to 6-7 on the season, 0-3 in the ACC, losing 7 of their past 8 matchups. The road gets tougher from here, as the Cavs will be hosting Georgia Tech this Friday and Clemson on Sunday in Charlottesville.