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Virginia field hockey team tops Wake Forest to reach ACC Tournament semifinals

Virginia field hockey team tops Wake Forest to reach ACC Tournament semifinals

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Laura Janssen scored two goals to lead the Virginia field hockey team to a 2-1 victory over Wake Forest on Thursday in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Chapel Hill, N.C.

With the win, Virginia (4-6) advances face top-seeded Louisville (7-1) in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Friday at 1:30 p.m. 

Both of Janssen's goals came off assists from sophomore back Cato Geusgens. Her second goal — which proved to be the game-winner — came with 13:49 remaining in the match. 

“It was pretty intense," said Janssen, who has scored in four of her past six games and now has seven goals this season. "I felt like we were dominating. they kept hitting balls into our pressure. I’m glad we finished that. For our corner attack, they kept trying to get me to take the ball from the right side. I feel like we’ve been doing that a lot, and it worked. I’m glad it worked. Today we practiced hard to get those balls and Kato’s delivery was perfect.”

Janssen got the Cavaliers on the board early, scoring off a redirect from Geusgens on a penalty corner to give UVa a 1-0 lead just one minute into the match.

Wake Forest knotted the score at 1-1 midway through the period on Alexis Grippo’s penalty stroke goal.

The score remained tied until the opening moments of the fourth quarter, when Geusgens found Janssen again to put Virginia in front to stay.

“We connected well on the field today," Virginia coach Michele Madison said. "They drove the game plan and created opportunities against a well-coached Wake Forest team."

Virginia goalkeeper Lauren Hausheer had a solid outing, making six saves, including four in the second half. The Cavaliers' goalkeeping tandem of Hausheer and Taylor Henriksen leads the ACC with a combined 55 saves this season.

Madison was pleased with her team's defensive performance, but knows it will have to be even better against the top-seeded Cardinals.

"Defensively, the team worked hard but we will have to work harder [Friday] against Louisville, the top seed in this tournament," Madison said. "I am very proud of the total, team-driven performance today and the way we stepped up to meet the challenge.”

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