Field Hockey Team Scores Twice Late in the First Half to Defeat Virginia 2-1
PRINCETON (10/7/11) - Allison Evans and Kelsey Byrne scored goals less than two minutes apart late in the first half to turn a one-goal Princeton deficit into a one-goal lead as the Tiger field hockey team edged Virginia 2-1 on Friday night under the lights at Class of '52 Stadium.
Princeton snapped a three-game Virginia win streak in the series with the win. UVA took two meetings from the Tigers last season, including a win in the NCAA quarterfinals in Charlottesville.
The Tigers withstood a Virginia's fast start to the game, which saw Elly Buckley scored on a corner in the fifth minute and the Cavaliers outshoot Princeton by an 8-1 margin through the first 30 minutes of play. Christina Maida made saves on three of the Cavalier shots and Amanda Bird had a defensive save as the Tigers remained close and in position to jump on their chances late in the half.
Princeton got those chances and took advantage scoring twice on two shots in a span of a minute and 55 seconds. Trailing 1-0 in the closing minutes of the half, Princeton put its first extended pressure on the Virginia goal and converted when Alyssa Pyros slid a pass into the middle of the circle that Evans shot in for her fifth goal of the season to move into a tie for the team lead in goals with Sydney Kirby.
The Tigers then took the lead less than two minutes later on a goal from Byrne. Buckley had the first chance following the Evans goal, putting a shot wide of the Princeton net. The Tigers took possession, eventually working the ball to Byrne who entered the circle and scored on a reverse shot from just inside the arc. The goal was Byrne's second of the season and second in as many games.
The first half ended with the Tigers on top 2-1 despite being outshot 9-3. Princeton's first chance of the game came in the sixth minute when Bird jumped up in the play and had a shot saved.
Play balanced out in the second half with Princeton holding a 4-2 edge in shots, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. Virginia had three straight corners 10 minutes into the half, but managed only a single shot that Maida stopped. After that shot at 43:06 of the game, it was more than 17 minutes before another shot was attempted, this time coming from Evans whose chance was stopped by Virginia goalie Jenny Johnstone. Katie Robinson had the last chance to even the game for Virginia, but her shot in the final minute was blocked.
Maida made five saves for the win in goal while Johnstone finished the game with three. Virginia outshot Princeton 11-7 and had eight corners to Princeton's two.
The Tigers moved to .500 overall at 5-5 with the win, while Virginia dropped to 6-8 with the loss. Princeton will host Wake Forest on Sunday.