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No. 10 Virginia field hockey cruises to victory against No. 11 Syracuse

The Cavaliers blanked the Orange for their second shutout victory of the season

<p>The Cavaliers celebrate a goal in a convincing victory over a ranked conference foe.</p>

The Cavaliers celebrate a goal in a convincing victory over a ranked conference foe.

No. 10 Virginia field hockey hosted No. 11 Syracuse at Turf Field in Charlottesville Friday evening. The Cavaliers (5-3, 1-1 ACC) shut out the Orange (7-2, 1-1 ACC) en route to a 3-0 victory.

Unlike many games thus far this season, the matchup got off to a quick start. Virginia took 10 shots and five penalty corners in the first period alone. Three of those 10 shots came from senior striker Laura Janssen, who leads the team in both goals and points. 

With just two seconds left in the first period, the Cavaliers finally capitalized on their uncharacteristically early offensive explosion. Senior back Cato Geusgens found the back of the net with assists from graduate student midfielder Annie McDonough and freshman midfielder Dani Mendez-Trendler. 

Syracuse was only able to mount two shots in the first period, both of which were blocked by Virginia freshman goalkeeper Jet Trimborn.

The offense continued their onslaught into the second period, where they put up another seven shots. The Orange couldn’t get anything going, and ended the period without making a single shot. This gave the Cavaliers a 17-2 shot advantage going into halftime, but the score remained 1-0.

The third period was even more of the same. Virginia kept the ball rolling and added another six shots to the differential, putting them up 23-2 over Syracuse. However, despite the multitude of chances, the Cavaliers only led 1-0 heading into the final stretch.

Halfway through the fourth period, Virginia tacked on another goal to make it 2-0. Coming off a penalty corner, Janssen fired one into the net for her seventh goal of the season. She got the assist from senior midfielder Adele Iacobucci, who is tied for second in team assists. 

With just under four minutes left in the game, the Orange pulled sophomore keeper Brooke Borzymowski. A minute later, the Cavaliers found themselves with an excellent opportunity to further expand their lead with an empty net on a penalty corner. The same trio that scored the first goal of the game, Cato with assists from McDonough and Mendez-Trendler, struck again. Their goal put Virginia up 3-0 with just over two minutes left in the game.

Syracuse attempted to get something started late in the game, but its two penalty corners amounted to nothing but two blocked shots and two saves from Trimborn. Three of those four shots occurred with under 30 seconds left of playing time. This was the first shutout of Trimborn’s collegiate career. 

While Syracuse’s sophomore goalkeeper Brooke Borzymowski put up 12 saves, it wasn’t nearly enough to shut down a Virginia team that seemed to be firing on all cylinders. 

“The team stepped up today,” Coach Michele Madison said. “They put the pressure on, and they kept the pressure on. They were relentless in their pursuit. It was a total team effort on our part. They just dug deep and did what it takes to win and dominate an ACC game.”

The Cavaliers look ahead to two more matchups between highly ranked programs, as they host No. 3 Louisville Friday at 3 p.m. and No. 17 William and Mary Sunday at 1 p.m.

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