Men’s lacrosse: No. 13 UVA outlasts Vermont on Saturday, 10-9

virginia lacrosseHometown hero Michael Kraus scored the game-winning goal with 1:47 left to lift the No. 13 Virginia Cavaliers (10-4) on Saturday afternoon, 10-9, over the Vermont Catamounts (10-3) at Dunning Stadium on the campus of New Canaan High School. Kraus is a 2016 graduate of New Canaan High School. The game was the inaugural IMLCA Game of the Week.

Virginia trailed for the first time all game, 9-8, with 1:16 left in the third quarter after Jack Knight scored on a Charlie Cobb helper, giving Vermont the lead. Both defenses battled for the next 14 minutes of game action without either team yielding a goal. Vermont’s Zack Bucci was tagged with a holding penalty with 3:04 left to play, giving UVA an extra-man opportunity. UVA’s Mike Herring slipped undetected about eight yards out and Dox Aitken found him for the EMO goal, tying the game at 9-9 with 2:30 left to play.

The Catamounts won the ensuing faceoff and went back toward their own goal. Vermont was unable to clear the ball as time ran out on the clear attempt, giving the ball back to Virginia via a turnover. UVA was able to get the restart moving quickly and Kraus scored the game-winning goal with 1:47 left to play after streaking about 20 yards and unleashing the shot.

“We kept our poise despite trailing one goal late and that clock ticking really fast with three minutes left,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “I give a lot of credit to Vermont faceoff specialist Charlie Erdmann. He really came in and did a great job in the second half with his faceoff play. Vermont’s goalie, Nick Washuta, had nine saves in the first half and he finished with another 10 in the second half for 19. There was a sequence late in the game where he made five tremendous saves in a row. When possession starts working against you, especially against an offense as good as Vermont has, that can be really damaging to your defense. Matt Moore’s ground ball play for us on the faceoff wing was inspired possession play that really helped us today. We kept our poise all the way until the end.”

UVA started the game with a narrow 2-0 lead on goals by Mike D’Amario and Ian Laviano. Back-to-back goals by Vermont’s Liam Limoges tied the game, 2-2, with 3:21 left in the first quarter. D’Amario retaliated with a goal at 3:08 in the first and assisted Aitken to give UVA a two-goal lead, 4-2.

Vermont scored two goals in the last 35 seconds of the first quarter to tie the game, 4-4. UVA held a 2-1 advantage to head into the intermission with a one-goal lead, 6-5. Vermont made its run in the third quarter, going on a 4-2 spurt to take a 9-8 lead. Jack Knight capped a 3-0 Vermont run with 1:16 left in the third, giving the Catamounts their only lead of the game.

The Virginia defense clamped down, holding Vermont scoreless over the game’s final 16:16 and setting up the late-game heroics by Herring and Kraus.

Virginia won the battle of shots (41-34), ground balls (29-20) and faceoffs (15-8). Vermont had more saves (19-10) and turnovers (14-13).

D’Amario led the way with three goals and one assist, while Kraus finished with two goals and one assist. Laviano was UVA’s only other multi-goal scorer with two.

Virginia earned the No. 4 seed in the ACC Tournament and will face No. 1 seed Syracuse on Friday at 8:30 p.m. The 2018 ACC Tournament is set to be contested at Klöckner Stadium on April 27 and April 29. The entire ACC Tournament will air on ESPNU.


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