With a dominant, redemptive performance against the Maryland Terrapins in the NCAA quarterfinals Sunday afternoon, the Virginia Cavaliers field hockey team has punched its ticket to the NCAA semifinals and another shot at #1 North Carolina. This is UVA’s sixth trip to the NCAA semifinals, with the last one being in 2019. This is despite the team’s head coach, Michele Madison, going on leave for the season on October 26th.
The 4-0 quarterfinal over Maryland victory avenged UVA’s 2-1 defeat to the Terps back in September. The ‘Hoos saw goals from for different players including sophomore midfielder Madison Orsi (who scored her first career goal), fifth year midfielder Adele Iacobucci, freshman striker Minnie Pollock, and sophomore midfielder Daniela Mendez-Trendler.
While UVA is not one of the four seeded teams in the 18-team NCAA Tournament field, they were considered the best of the rest, playing in #4 Maryland’s regional for the first two rounds. Virginia beat St. Joe’s in the first round by a final score of 2-1, and the ‘Hoos are actually the only unseeded team heading to Chapel Hill for next weekend’s semifinals with #2 Duke and #3 Northwestern matching up on the other side of the bracket.
On Friday, Virginia will look to knock off the dynasty that is the Tar Heels’ program. North Carolina has won four of the last five National Championships, and first year head coach (and former Tar Heel legend) Erin Matson has her squad peaking at the right time. UVA upset UNC in the regular season in late October, but then lost to them in the ACC semifinals.