Originally published October 18, 2021.
It was a bright and sunny day at L.R. Hill Sports Complex as the Lady Monarch Field Hockey team came away with a victory over the fourteenth ranked Virginia Cavaliers two to one. Over 350 people were in attendance as the Cavaliers came into town looking to redeem themselves against ODU after losing to the Monarchs last month in Charlottesville.
The Monarch players knew that UVA had this game circled on their schedule after dropping the first head-to-head meeting earlier this season. “We won the first game against them with a little bit of luck,” Freshman Alix Marien stated. “They are a really good team from a great conference, and we knew it would be tough because they would want revenge.”
ODU came into Sunday afternoon off of a two to one victory against Providence on the road this past Friday, while UVA came into the game on a two-game-skid, losing overtime heartbreakers to Maryland and Boston College.
The first period went by very quickly because both teams were deadlocked. Neither side put any shots on the cage nor had any penalty corner opportunities. The match went back and forth as the period would come to an end with the score tied at zero.
In the second period, the action began to pick up on both sides. In minute 18, the Monarchs received a penalty corner that Freshman Frederique Zandbergen took that would eventually lead to two shots on goal from Graduate Student Meghan Smart and Freshman Alix Marien that were both saved by the Cavalier goalkeeper, Tyler Kennedy. The Monarchs received another penalty corner in minute 20 that led to another shot on the cage from Junior Alice Demars. The Cavaliers made their offensive push in minute 25 as they would get on the board first with a goal from Laura Janssen to take the lead one to zero. The rest of the period was all UVA with their offensive pressure late in the half, but the score would hold up at one to zero going into the break. Virginia and Old Dominion both had three shots in the first half.
The Monarchs came out of the locker room revamped as they came out in the third period and tied the match in minute 33. Marien scored the early second half goal for ODU, which was her fourth goal of the season. In the next five minutes of the period, UVA had three penalty corner opportunities that were all unsuccessful. Virginia brought the pressure through the period having six shots with two on goal, but they couldn’t break the tie. ODU senior goalkeeper Cam Macgillivray made two saves in the period to help keep the match tied. She finished the match with three total saves. Junior Evelyn Murray shot the ball wide in the final minute of the third, and the score stood even going into the final 15 minutes. The Cavaliers outshot the Monarchs six to two in the period.
In the final frame, it was under the assumption that the next goal could win the match. The Monarch offense played tough in the beginning of the period, with a shot from Murray that was blocked in minute 49. The ensuing play was a penalty corner from Zanderbergen that would lead to the second goal of the afternoon for Marien, which propelled the Monarchs to a two to one advantage with about 11 minutes to play. In minute 52, a green card was issued to sophomore Aubrey Mytych. The Cavaliers knew that they needed to to get another goal to tie the match, and that time was not in their favor. In minute 55, UVA pulled their goalie. For the rest of the match, the Cavaliers had the extra attacker on their side. However, the Monarch defense prevailed and won the match two to one. Virginia outshot Old Dominion nine to seven, and had two more penalty corners (5-3) in the match. The victory gave the Monarchs a two-game sweep of UVA, a power five school and traditional ACC powerhouse.
After the match, ODU Head Coach Andrew Griffiths shared his thoughts on how much another win over UVA meant and how thrilled he was with his team’s performance. “That’s the best game we’ve played this year. We moved the ball well. We defended well. Our two words for the game were we’re “tough” and “together” and we did both of those things. Virginia’s a really good team, really talented and dangerous. I’m really proud of how we played today.”
ODU is 11-3 on the season overall with a 4-1 record in conference play. They’re ranked eighteenth in the nation and have won seven of its last eight and 11 of its last 13 games. The Monarchs have three more matches left in the regular season before the Big East Conference tournament. They finish with home games against Temple on Friday, Oct. 23 and William & Mary on Sunday, Oct. 25. The road game against No. 9 Liberty will be on Friday, Oct. 29.