CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia field hockey head coach Michele Madison announced Cato Geusgens (Wassenaar, Netherlands), Danielle Husar (Mississauga, Canada), Adele Iacobucci (Malvern, Penn.), Laura Janssen (Nijmegen, Netherlands), Olivia Marrus (Houston, Texas) and Abbigail Starnes (Chesapeake, Va.) will join the Cavaliers for the 2019 season.
“I am proud to welcome these intelligent, confident and athletically-gifted young women, who are coming from three different states and foreign countries to Virginia,” said head coach Michele Madison. “We search high and low to find players with the tenacity and belief in ‘team.’ It takes a special team to weather the storms of ACC hockey in pursuit of championships. The 2019 class is up for the challenge.”
Cato Geusgens (Wassenaar, Netherlands) is a defender who has been playing hockey since the age of six for Hockey Club HGC in the Netherlands, including spending the past two years playing for its A1 team, helping to lead the team to the championship at the second highest national level. She has additionally won an indoor national championship in 2013 and an outdoor national championship in 2018. She has also spent the last two years volunteering at Meet and Move Camp, a sports camp for refugee children aged six to 12.
Madison on Geusgens: Cato will fortify the backfield and will be called on to use her experience to organize play there along with Amber Ezechiels. When asked if she is comfortable in that role, she replied, “My voice is usually gone after a game.” Cato’s strengths will provide the team more flexibility in the side back positions, helping us build on the strong play this spring of Anzel Viljoen and Colleen Norair.
Danielle Husar (Mississauga, Canada) is a member of Canada’s Women’s Junior Development Squad, a team whose members have been recognized as having senior national team potential and are eligible to compete in junior tournaments such as the Junior World Cup and Junior Pan Am Games. Since joining the Junior National Development Squad in 2017, she has been traveled to China for a test series with the U23 team, faced Chile in a test series with the U21 squad and participated in the NextGen U21 training tour in Chula Vista, Calif. She has also been a member of the Canadian Women’s Senior National Indoor Squad and was an alternate for the 2017 Indoor Pan Am Cup Team. She has also had a very successful career playing for Field Hockey Ontario, winning gold at the Canadian National Championships in 2016, silver in 2018, and bronze in 2015. She has also had successful club careers in ice hockey and soccer.
Madison on Husar: Dani has worked diligently to grow her game. She possesses not only the skill and physicality, but also a strong “team first” mentality. She will do whatever it takes and play any position to help the team win. Her strengths are definitely most recognized in the midfield where she is very effective in building the play.
Adele Iacobucci (Malvern, Penn.) is a member of the U19 USA Field Hockey Junior National Team after having spent the past two years on the U17 Junior National Team. The 2018 NFHCA Second Team All-American and Max Prep Field Hockey First Team All-American was named first team All-State this season after garnering second team honors last year. She is a two-time NFHCA All-Academic Team member as well as earning the same honor from the PA Field Hockey Coaches Association, and has been a Daily Local News All-Area honoree each of the last two years. The midfielder helped lead Villa Maria Academy to the 2017 PIAA AA state title as well as three District 1 championships. She is a member of the WC Eagles club team.
Madison on Iacobucci: The words “efficient” and “powerful” come to mind when I think of Adele’s future contributions to the UVA midfield. She covers a lot of ground and does the work in transition. She is a gritty player who will get messy to get the job done.
Laura Janssen (Nijmegen, Netherlands) has played for Hockeyclub Den Bosch since 2014, finishing second at the Dutch National Championships in each of the last two years. She also helped to lead the squad to the title at the 2017-18 Dutch Indoor Championships. The versatile player has played defender, midfield and attack throughout her career.
Madison on Janseen: Laura will add grit to our talented forward line. There is fierce competition among the strikers where circle penetrations and positive results are their job. That’s what they do and that’s what she does. Erin Shanahan, Makayla Gallen, Jacquelyn Wilkins and Catesby Willis all saw big minutes this spring displaying their strengths. When assistant coach Rachel Dawson went to see Laura play in Holland, she reported back “this kid loves to score goals”.
Olivia Marrus (Houston, Texas) was named All South-Zone for the Southwest Preparatory Conference for each of the last three years and All-State for SPC her senior season. The forward helped lead The Kinkaid School to winning the SPC championship her junior year and runner-up finishes her freshman and senior seasons. She is a 2018 NHFCA High School All-Region team member and a 2018 All-West/Midwest First Team honoree, totaling 53 goals and 48 assists in her prep career. She also earned three varsity letters in lacrosse, helping to lead her team to a state runner-up finish last season.
Madison on Marrus: Olivia’s open-field speed will present challenges to our opponents. Finishing and setting up goals is her strength. Olivia has a bright future and brings a laser-sharp focus and intensity to the field.
Abbigail Starnes (Chesapeake, Va.) scored a school-record 26 goals in her senior season at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake. She was named to the All-Monitor Merrimac Conference second team for defense in her sophomore season and was a Southeastern District All-District and Class 6 Region A All-Region second team honoree as a forward in 2018.
Madison on Starnes: Abbigail came on strong with a great senior year. She is a hockey fanatic. She plays in all the tournaments, play days and camps that she can. Abbi never stops working on her game. She is a disciplined marker, which makes her hard to beat one-on-one. She will add depth to our back four and will add intensity and physicality to practice. Abbi has untapped potential and her future looks good at UVA.