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Virginia falls 1-0 to North Carolina in ACC FIeld Hockey Championship

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

uva field hockeyThe 5-seed Virginia field hockey team (12-8) lost 1-0 against 3-seed North Carolina (13-6) in the final of the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Championship on Sunday in Syracuse, N.Y.

Senior Amber Ezechiels and grad students Makayla Gallen and Rachel Robinson were named to the All-ACC Tournament Team.

Virginia jumped out to a quick start with Gallen taking the first shot 36 seconds into the game, but it would end up of being one of just five taken by the two teams combined in the scoreless first half.

ACC Offensive Player of the Year Erin Matson broke the deadlock in the third quarter, deflecting in an initial shot off a penalty corner into the upper corner of the net five minutes into the third quarter. Virginia appeared to tie the game four minutes into the fourth when senior striker Annie McDonough dribbled along the baseline and then sent a hard pass to Adele Iacobucci in front of the net with the latter deflecting the shot into the goal. North Carolina challenged the play and video review ruled that McDonough had gone out of bounds before she made the pass and the goal was waived off.

Head coach Michele Madison pulled the Cavalier goalie with 4:12 remaining to give the Cavaliers an extra attacker, but the Carolina defense held on for the victory.


  • Virginia held a 5-4 edge in shots
  • UNC scored on its only shot on goal
  • This is Virginia’s eighth time playing in the championship game, Michele Madison’s third time playing for the title. She was the runner-up in 2009 in addition to the 2016 championship
  • This is the first time any of the players on the team have played for the title. The three fifth-years were part of the regular-season champion team in 2017


“We said to have no regrets and we have no regrets. It’s always great to have an opportunity to win a championship, but in a championship game, you have to put it away. I am proud of how we have played the last few weeks of the season, and of our wins against Syracuse, Boston College and Louisville. I feel this is a team that deserves to be in the NCAA tournament.”

Virginia earns at-large bid for NCAA Field Hockey Championship

The Virginia field hockey team (12-8) earned one of eight at-large bids into the field of 18 teams for the 2021 NCAA Field Hockey Championship.

The Cavaliers will take on Maryland (13-6) on Friday, Nov. 14 at 2:30 p.m. at Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park, Md. Penn State (14-5), the four seed in the championship, will take on Syracuse (13-5) at 12 p.m. The winner of both games will play on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m.

This is the 25th trip to NCAA Championship for the Cavaliers and their 13th in head coach Michele Madison’s 16 seasons at Virginia.

Rutgers, Michigan and Iowa will serve as the other three host sites for the first- and second-round games. The winner of each site will advance to the NCAA semifinals on Nov. 19 at Phylis Ocker Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The NCAA Championship game will take place on Nov. 21 at that same location.

Friday, Nov. 12 — 1st Round
12 pm – Penn State vs Syracuse (Game 1)
2:30 pm – Maryland vs Virginia (Game 2)

Sunday, November 14 — 2nd Round
1:00pm — Winner of Game 1 v. Winner of Game 2


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