Wahoowa! A Great 48 Hours for the UVA Cross Country, Soccer and Field Hockey Teams

Collage of the UVA cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer teams

The UVA cross country, field hockey and men’s and women’s soccer teams will compete in NCAA Tournaments this weekend. (Photos by Matt Riley and Jim Daves, University Athletics)

First came a winning performance by the University of Virginia men’s cross country team at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Friday at Panorama Farms in Earlysville.

Then came an NCAA Tournament victory by the UVA women’s soccer team at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville on Saturday night.

That was followed by a win by the UVA men’s soccer squad in the ACC Tournament championship game in Cary, North Carolina, on Sunday afternoon that led to a team sing-along.

Two hours later, the Cavaliers field hockey team was victorious in its NCAA Tournament game at the Turf Field, propelling UVA to the Final Four.

If you’re keeping score at home, that made four huge postseason wins by four Hoos teams all within a span of 48 hours.

Did somebody say Wahoowa?

Everything started on Friday when the Cavalier men’s cross country team won the Southeast Regional for the first time since 2014, earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships on Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana.

UVA placed all five of its runners inside the top 20 of the competition, with fourth-year student A.J. Ernst capturing the team’s top time at 30 minutes, 17.8 seconds.

UVA mens cross country team running

The Cavaliers won the men’s title for the third time in program history. (Photo by Jim Daves, University Athletics)

In a game played under the lights, the No. 1-seeded Cavalier women’s soccer team got goals from Sydney Zandi, Ashlynn Serepca and Alissa Gorzak en route to an NCAA Tournament first-round win over Radford University.

The Hoos’ defense, anchored by goalie Michaela Moran, limited Radford to five shots.UVA next hosts Washington State in the second round on Friday at 7 p.m.

UVA womens soccer team moving the ball down field

Three different players scored for UVA in its win over Radford on Saturday. (Photo by Jim Daves, University Athletics)

The No. 2 UVA men’s soccer team trailed top-ranked Clemson University by a goal at halftime before netting three goals of its own in the second half, including two within the game’s final nine minutes, to capture its 16th ACC championship and first since 2009.

Axel Gunnarsson, a first-year student from Sweden, tied the game in the 65th minute before Cabrel Happi Kamseu and Robin Afamefuna added late goals.

Cavalier goalie Colin Shutler saved four shots by Clemson, which came into the game with the nation’s highest-scoring offense. Defender Henry Kessler was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Afterward, UVA was in a singing mood.

UVA – the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament– earned a bye in the first round and will host the winner of the James Madison University-Campbell University match on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium.

 George Gelnovatch with UVA's mens soccer team pose for a group photo with their trophy

The conference championship was the fifth under head coach George Gelnovatch. (Photo courtesy of the ACC)

Meanwhile, playing in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, the Cavalier field hockey team was locked in a defensive battle with the University of Maryland.

Finally, a little over five minutes into overtime, Annie McDonough, a second-year student from Pennsylvania, scored to give UVA a 1-0 victory over its former ACC rival.

The win, which avenged a regular-season loss to the Terrapins in September, also in overtime, moved the Hoos into their first Final Four since 2010. 

Virginia will play Princeton University on Friday at 3:45 p.m. at Wake Forest University’s Kenter Stadium.

Womans Field Hockey team hitting a ball on the field

This will be UVA’s third trip to the NCAA tournament's final four in 14 seasons under head coach Michelle Madison. (Photo by Jim Daves, University Athletics)

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