Field Hockey Falls to Virginia in ACC Tournament Opener

One year removed from its first-ever win in the ACC Field Hockey Tournament, No. 11 Boston College traveled to Winston-Salem, N.C. with lofty goals. The Eagles entered the first round of the tournament with the No. 3 seed, the highest in program history, as they were matched up with No. 7 Virginia, the No. 6 seed in the tournament. In spite of a strong first half, the Eagles’ efforts were not enough as they fell 6-3 to the Cavaliers in a shootout.

BC (10-9, 3-3 Atlantic Coast) came out of the gate looking sharp, as it netted the game’s first goal. Brittany Sheenan buried the ball past UVA (12-7, 3-3) goalie Carrera Lucas on a feed from Leah Frome, to put the Eagles up 1-0. Just three minutes later, Emily McCoy notched a second goal for the Eagles to temporarily put them up 2-0. Upon review, however, it was determined that her shot was too high, and the goal was overturned.

Over the course of the next 20 minutes, the Cavaliers and Eagles traded punches. By halftime, the score was 3-3, after Frederique Haverhals, an All-ACC second team member, scored two goals off penalty corners.

BC came out of the gate in the second half, looking like the better team as it outshot UVA over the first 15 minutes. From that point forward, the Cavaliers took control of the game. The rest of the Eagles’ second half was plagued with unforced errors. After allowing UVA to get the ball deep on a penalty corner, Caleigh Foust scored on a rebound to put UVA up 4-3 with 20 minutes remaining in the game. Three minutes later, McCoy was penalized with a yellow card to give the Cavaliers another opportunity. Immediately following the penalty, Anzel Viljoen netted a penalty corner to put UVA up 5-3. With 2:45 left in the game, BC pulled goalie Audra Hampsch in a last-ditch effort to generate some offense. After two minutes without any shots for the Eagles, Foust scored her second goal for UVA to make it 6-3, the game’s final result.

The Eagles and Cavaliers entered Thursday’s contest as two of the most battle-tested teams in the country, with matching conference records. BC boasted the second most difficult schedule in the country, and its opponent UVA finished with the hardest. While no team looked much better than the other in the box score, BC could not overcome two mishaps at a crucial point in the game.

With their disappointing loss, the Eagles look to Sunday’s NCAA Tournament selection show. The most important metric that is considered in the selection of the tournament’s field is RPI. Before its loss, BC was ranked No. 10 according to RPI, which would place them in contention for an at-large berth in the 16-team field.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

November 4, 2016