Two Virginia squads get NCAA tournament bids
No. 1 women's soccer gets top overall seed, while No. 4 field hockey is fifth seed
The No. 1 women’s soccer team and the No. 4 field hockey team each earned at-large bids to their respective NCAAtournaments. Both teams suffered early exits from the ACCTournament during the weekend, but the women’s soccer team was still awarded the No. 1 overall seed, and the field hockey team was awarded the fifth overall seed. The top four seeds in both tournaments all went to ACC teams.
The women’s soccer team (20-1, 13-0 ACC) finished the regular season as the only undefeated and untied squad in the country and have held the No. 1 ranking since September. The Cavaliers set a new school record with 20 consecutive wins en route to earning their first top-four national seed since 2004.
The Cavaliers earned the top seed in the ACC Tournament, but fell to Virginia Tech in the semifinals by a score of 4-2. The four goals allowed in the game were the most all season and was more than the Cavaliers had allowed in the previous nine games combined. All-ACC first-team sophomores forward Makenzy Doniak and defender Emily Sonnett scored the two Virginia goals in that game. Junior midfielder Morgan Brian, also a first-team All-ACC selection, tallied an assist in the game.
Virginia will play St. Francis in the opening round of 32 teams and host games through the quarterfinals. The Cavaliers could face No. 15 Georgetown, No. 20 Penn State and ACC foe Wake Forest, among others, on their way to the semifinals in Cary, N.C.
The field hockey team (15-5, 3-3 ACC) comes off a 2-1 loss to Duke in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. The Cavaliers beat the Blue Devils (14-6, 3-3 ACC) earlier in the season, and could have an opportunity to face the team a third time to decide the season series. The Cavaliers must first get past No. 12 Massachusetts while fourth-seeded Duke would have to defeat New Hampshire to set up a rematch between the teams.
Senior forward Elly Buckley, an All-ACC selection, leads the Cavaliers on offense with 20 goals, while freshman Lucy Hyams holds the Virginia midfield and was named the ACCFreshman of the Year on Monday.
The field hockey team opens tournament play Saturday at 2 p.m. in Durham, and women’s soccer opens at Klöckner Stadium Friday at 7 p.m.