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Field hockey falls to Louisville, 2-1

The Cavaliers dropped their 2021 road opener late in the fourth quarter and fell to 0-2 in ACC play

<p>Despite scoring late in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers left too much time on the clock, allowing the Cardinals to convert a penalty stroke to secure the go-ahead goal.&nbsp;</p>

Despite scoring late in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers left too much time on the clock, allowing the Cardinals to convert a penalty stroke to secure the go-ahead goal. 

Louisville squeaked past Virginia on Saturday afternoon, handing the Cavaliers their second consecutive loss of the spring 2021 campaign.

After a scoreless opening quarter, Cardinals (10-3, 1-1 ACC) freshman midfielder Charlie van Oirschot found the net on a tipped penalty corner just over a minute into the second quarter.

The penalty corner was the first of eight for Louisville. The Cavaliers (4-9, 0-2 ACC) only earned two the entire game.

The Cardinals looked to extend the lead in the second half, but Virginia junior goalkeeper Lauren Hausheer kept them from finding the net a second time. Even though Louisville outshot the Cavaliers 6-1 during that period, Hausheer made four crucial saves to keep Virginia within striking distance.

The Cavaliers offense came to life in the fourth quarter and rattled off five of their 10 shots. Virginia had two of its best scoring chances of the afternoon early in the final period when sophomore striker Laura Janssen fired a shot from the right wing that Cardinals sophomore goalkeeper Sam Minrath parried away with her glove. Sophomore midfielder Adele Iacobucci tracked down the rebound and got off another quality look, but Minrath got it with her glove again, this time tipping over the crossbar.

With just over five minutes to go, the Cavaliers finally broke through. Junior midfielder Annie McDonough created separation from Louisville defenders inside the circle and found the left side of the net for her first goal of the season and Virginia’s first of the afternoon.

However, the game would not stay tied for long. With two minutes remaining, the Cardinals were awarded a penalty stroke. Louisville senior midfielder Mercedes Pastor, who assisted van Oirschot’s earlier goal, put the ball past Hausheer and reclaimed a 2-1 lead.

The Cavaliers pulled their goalie for the final 1:55 of regulation and created one more scoring chance. However, Minrath saved McDonough’s shot off the final minute penalty corner, and the Cardinals took the 2-1 victory.

“Our team is mad about the result,” Coach Michele Madison said. “They played the kind of game you need to play to win in the ACC, but we didn’t pull it off. We played a solid defensive game and created what should have been enough offensive opportunities, but in the end, it’s about execution.”

Virginia will be back in action next Sunday against James Madison at Turf Field in Charlottesville.

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