No. 6 Virginia traveled to Winston-Salem Friday and defeated No. 20 Wake Forest 3-1 to end the regular season. Virginia (15-3, 4-2 ACC) won thanks to brilliant scoring efforts by freshman back Cato Geusgens and freshman striker Laura Janssen, while the Demon Deacons (8-10, 0-6 ACC) struggled offensively.
Both teams opened the contest slow and unpolished, as neither side could establish a consistent pace or rhythm in their scoring attacks. Janssen’s strike to put Virginia on the board was the team’s sole shot in the first quarter.
While scoring chances were few and far between, the Cavaliers quickly gained a 2-0 advantage after Geusgen capitalized on a corner for her sixth goal on the season.
Still, Virginia’s defense arguably impressed the most Friday. The Cavaliers’ vaunted backline did not surrender a single shot in the first half as Virginia players regularly probed passing lanes, challenged strikers and quickly closed any gaps in the coverage.
The second half gave Virginia the opportunity to play out its lead, adding another goal by Geusgens while surrendering a goal to Wake Forest. On the day, the Demon Deacons had just one shot on goal.
The Cavaliers finish the 2019 regular season 15-3 overall and 4-2 in the ACC — a remarkable increase from the 9-10 and 2-4 marks of last year.
Up next, Virginia plays No. 4 Duke (13-6, 1-5 ACC) in the ACC Tournament Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. in Newton, Mass.