EVANSTON, Ill. – The No. 9 Virginia field hockey team (3-2, 0-0 ACC) suffered a 3-2 loss to the reigning NCAA champions, No. 1 Northwestern (6-0, 0-0 Big Ten), on Sunday (Sept. 11) at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill.

Virginia fell into a 2-0 deficit after the Wildcats scored on their first two penalty corner chances, but a goal by senior Laura Janssen cut the lead in half. Trailing 3-1 in the fourth quarter, senior Cato Geusgens scored off a penalty corner with six minutes left in the game to pull UVA back to within one, but the Wildcats held on for the win.


Northwestern earned its 2-0 advantage after Bente Baekers scored their two corner goals, the first in the first quarter followed by a strike three minutes into the second period. Janssen puts the Cavaliers on the board a minute later, firing off a hot shot on goal that pinged off the cage. She corralled her own rebound and fired again, this time finding the corner of the net.

Northwestern added to its 2-1 lead 3:39 into the second half.

In the fourth quarter, freshman Caroline Nemec drew a foul in the circle to earn a penalty corner, setting up the Geusgens goal.

Virginia pulled its goalie for the final 2:52 of play, but could not score the equalizer.

Sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Kennedy matched her career high with eight saves.


  • The start of the game was delayed 30 minutes because of lightning in the area and was played in a steady rain the entire game
  • Northwestern held a 17-11 edge in shots and a 6-5 advantage in corners
  • Virginia snapped a streak of three-straight Northwestern shutouts
  • Northwestern’s Bente Baekers leads the nation in scoring. Her two goals were her 11th and 12th of the season
  • Laura Janssen’s goal was her team-best fifth of the season
  • Cato Geusgen’s goal was the first for the defender since her freshman season
  • Northwestern won the program’s first NCAA title last year



“We had opportunities to win the game. To have those opportunities against the number one team in the country is just a credit to the entire team’s attack and defense and their mentality to win it. And their mentality to do it together.”


  • Virginia opens conference play by traveling to No. 20 Boston College on Friday, Sept. 16. The match begins at 4 p.m.
  • The Cavaliers return home to host No. 12 Saint Joseph’s on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. That match will be televised on the ACC Network