Despite playing a day early due to Hurricane Sandy, the No. 2 Princeton field hockey team did not seem fazed as the Tigers handed No. 7 Virginia a 2-1 loss Sunday afternoon in Charlottesville, Va. The win marked Princeton's fifth versus a top-10 opponent and improves the Tigers' (15-1, 6-0 Ivy) win streak to eight.
Allison Evans provided Princeton with an initial advantage, 1-0, in the sixth minute. Evans sent in a shot at 5:15, but UVA's goalie Jenny Johnstone was able to make the save. Teresa Benvenuti followed through, but her shot went wide and Evans managed to pick up the loose ball in front of the net and put the Cavaliers on their heels early.
Princeton continued to pepper in opportunities, holding a 9-1 shot, 5-0 shot on goal and 6-0 penalty corner lead in the first period. With a stringent defensive line, the Tiger offense possessed the ball for much of the half. Despite finding fluidity moving the ball around the field and into UVA's circle, Princeton was unable to advance its lead before halftime.
Virginia's offense responded in the second half, upping the pressure in the Tiger circle. At 43:36, Paige Selenski dribbled the ball past the Princeton defenders and squared things up, 1-1, with a strike from the left side.
Following a series of three consecutive UVA shots, including a pair on frame, Princeton moved the ball into Virginia's circle. Sydney Kirby and Benvenuti both sent in shots that were saved by Johnstone before the Tigers were awarded a penalty corner.
Julia Reinprecht fed the ball in and Michelle Cesan was credited with a pair of ensuing shots, but both were blocked. Reinprecht grabbed the deflected ball and dished it to an open Kathleen Sharkey, who put the game away with her 58th minute goal. The goal marked the striker's 25th of the year and was her seventh game-winner.
With control regained, the Tiger defense held off a fighting Cavalier side from evening the score again.
Princeton concluded the match with a 17-8 shot, 11-5 shot on goal and 8-2 penalty corner differential, while UVA led in saves, 9-4.
Goalie Christina Maida earned her 12th victory of the year. She was credited with all four saves for the Orange and Black.
The Tigers conclude the regular season at home with a Saturday, Nov. 3 meeting with Ivy foe Penn at 11 a.m. Princeton has already clinched a share of the Ivy League title for the eighth consecutive season and 17th in the past 18 years. The Tigers will be able to win the outright championship with a victory over the Quakers.