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Tribe Field Hockey Stuns #5 Virginia, 2-1
Updated: Friday 10/13/2013 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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(photo by Jim Daves)

The William and Mary field hockey team played a masterful game of defense and took advantage of its opportunities on offense Sunday, shocking No. 5-ranked Virginia 2-1 in Charlottesville.  The Tribe upped its season record to 6-7 with the victory, while the Cavaliers fell to 14-3.

Box Score

W&M pulled off the win despite being heavily outshot, thanks to an outstanding performance in goal by sophomore Cate Johnson (Charlottesville, Va.).  Playing in front of her hometown fans, Johnson made a career-best eight saves, and kept the Cavaliers off the board for more than an hour.  Dating back to last Sunday's match against Towson, Johnson extended her own personal shut-out streak to 2 hours, 22 minutes, and 11 seconds before Virginia was able to score its only goal.

Johnson's play proved so important, thanks to an early score by the Tribe offense that put the Cavaliers in an unfamiliar hole.  Just seven minutes into the match, sophomore Pippin Saunders (Mittagong, NSW), as she is wont to do, drove the defense and unleashed a rocket from the top of the circle that blew by the Virginia goalkeeper and into the back of the cage.  It was her team-leading sixth goal of the year, and proved to be the eventual game-winner (Saunders' first of her career).

The rest of the half saw the Cavaliers go on the attack, making six attempts on Johnson and the Tribe goal in the midst of 11 total shots and six corners, but all were stuffed.  Johnson had five of the saves, and the sixth came from the heads-up play of senior Taylor Hodge (Louisville, Ky.), who recorded her first career defensive save.  As the clock ticked to zero on the first 35 minutes, W&M became just the second team all year to both lead and hold Virginia scoreless in the first half.

The second half started out with Virginia still on the attack, taking four more shots and two more corners in the first 15 minutes.  As the home team began gambling more on the attack, it opened up lanes for the Tribe offense to get more looks, and W&M began striking back with 17 minutes left.  Charlotte Mabon (Landenberg, Pa.) made her first shot of the year in the 54th minute, forcing a save from the Cavalier goalkeeper, and Taylor Gladey (Mountaintop, Pa.) made a try on the rebound, but it slide just wide of the goalmouth.

Six minutes later, after a W&M timeout to regroup and adjust, Saunders tried a second shot that was saved, but the Tribe was awarded its first and only penalty corner shortly thereafter.  Saunders sent the ball in to senior captain Chaney Manganello (Richmond, Va.), who teed it up for Hodge to blast into the boards and put the Tribe ahead 2-0.  The tally kept Hodge even with Saunders at six goals apiece, while providing assists to both the Australian (her seventh on the year) and Manganello (her third).

Virginia responded just over a two-and-a-half minutes later, finally scoring off a corner, but even another timeout and pulling their goalkeeper with four minutes remaining to give them another attacker couldn't break Johnson and the Tribe defense.  The Tribe victory was the first for an unranked team over Virginia since late in the 2011 season.

Other notable milestones hit Sunday for W&M including the first win over any ACC school since Sept. 29, 2004, when the Tribe beat No. 12 Virginia in Charlottesville, 5-4.  The last time the Green and Gold beat a top-10 ranked opponent was also in 2004, a 2-1 win over No. 8 Old Dominion on Oct. 27, and the last win over a top-5 team was Oct. 5, 1995, when W&M beat No. 5 Virginia, 3-2 in Williamsburg.

William and Mary continues on the road this Friday, Oct. 18, with a trip to face arch-rival Old Dominion in Norfolk.  The Monarchs, who moved to the Big East this fall after 28 years as a conference-mate of W&M, are 7-6 overall and ranked No. 20 nationally after winning six in a row.  Friday's match will also count towards the Optima Health Challenge, a yearly all-sports series between the Tribe and the Monarchs that awards 10 points to the victor in every sport the two schools meet in.  W&M holds a 10-0 lead so far this year, with 55 points need to win the challenge.

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