The No. 11 UVA field hockey team began a stretch of seven consecutive matches against ranked opponents on Friday at No. 5 Louisville, losing a hard-fought 1-0 match for Virginia’s second loss of the season.
On Sunday, the Cavaliers faced another tough test at No. 24 Ohio State. This time, the Hoos were up to the task, defeating the Buckeyes 2-1 in Columbus behind goals from Makayla Gallen and Taryn Tkachuk.
The Virginia defense played a flawless first half, as Ohio State did not manage even a single shot through the first 30 minutes of the match.
Virginia took four shots in the first quarter, but none found their mark. Four minutes into the second quarter, UVA struck first on a goal by grad student back Makayla Gallen. Junior Cato Geusgens took a shot off of a penalty corner and Gallen deflected it in for her first goal of the season to give the Cavaliers the lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, Virginia supplemented its lead with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the match on a deflection goal by freshman Taryn Tkachuk, who now has three goals on the season, second-most on the team.
Ohio State turned up the offensive pressure in the second half, taking 14 shots, including 10 shots in the fourth quarter.
With less than three minutes remaining, the Buckeyes got on the board on a penalty corner goal by Katie Pyle to make it 2-1.
Behind a stellar performance from goalkeeper Tyler Kennedy, who recorded six saves on seven shots on goal, UVA held on for the 2-1 victory.
Buckeye goalie Aaliyah Hernandez made five saves to keep Ohio State in the game.
Despite taking zero shots in the first half, Ohio State actually outshot Virginia 14-12 and shots on goal were even at seven apiece. Ohio State took six shots in the final eight minutes of the match, but only Pyle’s shot at 57:46 got past Kennedy.
With the win, Virginia improves to 5-2 on the season. The Hoos face a third-straight ranked opponent on the road on Friday at No. 15 Wake Forest.