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No. 6 Virginia field hockey secures close victory over No. 17 Liberty

The Cavaliers scored in the final minutes to upend the Flames on Senior Night

<p>The No. 6 Cavaliers celebrated Senior Night at Turf Field with a shutout win over the No. 17 Flames. &nbsp;</p>

The No. 6 Cavaliers celebrated Senior Night at Turf Field with a shutout win over the No. 17 Flames.  

No. 6 Virginia won its sixth-straight game Monday to improve to 14-3, defeating the Liberty Flames 1-0 after another clutch goal with under three minutes to play at Turf Field. The Cavaliers (14-3, 3-2 ACC) controlled the pace, but the Flames (9-6, 4-2 Big East) made enough plays to hold the score even throughout the game.

Ultimately, Virginia’s relentless attack and control of pace limited Liberty’s ability to strike back. The Cavaliers registered 14 shots to the Flames’ six and won the penalty corner contest with eight to Liberty’s four, one of which set up the game-winning goal.

Freshman striker Laura Janssen was a key player for the Cavaliers, scoring her sixth goal on the season and third game-winner. At the end of the fourth period, Janssen took advantage as the goalkeeper came out of position and received an assist from sophomore midfielder Peyton Tollaksen to put the Cavaliers up 1-0.

Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Hausheer had a strong performance for Virginia, making two crucial saves off of great chances for Liberty. Additionally, the Flames had an opportunity to score in the first period, but senior back Colleen Norair made a key defensive save to maintain the scoreless draw.

The Senior Night game was the last at Turf Field for back Anzel Viljoen, striker Catesby Willis, striker Erin Shanahan and Norair. Viljoen and Shanahan have been particularly crucial in the Cavaliers’ success on the season, accounting for a combined 10 goals through 17 games.

Virginia’s victory over Liberty comes in its second to last game of the regular season. The Cavaliers conclude regular season play in Winston-Salem, N.C., against ACC rival No. 20 Wake Forest Friday at 6 p.m.

With the regular season coming to a close, the Cavaliers have their eyes set on the postseason. After struggling in the ACC and NCAA tournaments over the past few years, this team will look to make a run with what may be Coach Michelle Madison’s most talented defensive team ever. 

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