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Women’s lacrosse: Reese powers UVA past Loyola, 11-7

uva lacrosseThe UVA women’s lacrosse team (3-4, 0-2 ACC) downed Loyola (0-6, 0-0 Patriot), 11-7, on Wednesday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium.

Virginia took the lead early in the contest and never trailed. Loyola tied the game, 2-2, in the first half, but a goal by freshman Sammy Mueller (Pelham, N.Y.) followed by back-to-back goals by senior Posey Valis (Baltimore, Md.) kept the Cavaliers in front. UVA took a 6-3 advantage into halftime. Senior Kelly Reese (Severna Park, Md.) scored four goals in the second half, as the Greyhounds never got closer than two goals for the remainder of the game.

“Our defense did a nice job of being aware of Loyola’s top players and giving Rachel (Vander Kolk) a chance to see where some of the shots were coming from,” head coach Julie Myers said. “We need to take care of the ball better in our transition game, as well as on the offensive end. I love how we have been really gritty on ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers this year, but we need to do a better job of turning those extra possessions into goals.”

Reese led all players with five goals, while. Valis and Mueller each finished with two goals for UVA. Two players finished with two goals to lead Loyola.

Sophomore Maggie Jackson (Alexandria, Va.) covered the field, scoring a goal along with two assists and leading the Cavaliers with five ground balls, six draw controls and five caused turnovers.

The Cavaliers outshot the Greyhounds, 29-19, and won 13 of the 20 draw controls. UVA picked up 24 ground balls to 26 for Loyola. Loyola finished with 9 saves, and junior Rachel Vander Kolk (Severna Park, Md.) had six in goal for Virginia.

Virginia jumped on the board early as junior Kasey Behr (Northport, N.Y.) scored 36 seconds into the game after Jackson won the opening draw. Jackson then scored a goal two minutes later on an assist from sophomore Avery Shoemaker (Wyndmoor, Pa.) to give UVA a 2-0 lead.

After the Greyhounds tied it up, Mueller scored on an assist from Shoemaker and Valis scored two-straight with one coming on a free position to give the Cavaliers a 5-2 lead with 8:28 remaining in the first half. Loyola scored on an eight-meter, but Reese notched her first goal of the day with the assist from Jackson to send UVA into the half leading 6-3.

Neither team scored for nearly 10 minutes to open the second half. Loyola struck first to cut it to 6-4 with 20:38 on the clock. The first goal for the Cavaliers came at the 12:32 mark, when Reese found the net and Mueller added her second of the day on an assist from senior Besser Dyson (Alexandria, Va.) to give UVA a 8-4 lead with 10:12 to play.

Reese then scored back-to-back goals in a two-minute span after a goal by Loyola to make it a 10-5 game with just under six minutes remaining. The Greyhounds cut the lead to three, 10-7, with two-straight goals, but Reese converted a free position shot with 1:35 left to keep momentum in Virginia’s favor and seal the win.

Virginia will remain at home as it hosts No. 10 Notre Dame on Saturday, March 18 in its ACC home opener. The Cavaliers and Irish are slated for a noon opening draw. The game will be streamed live on the ACC Network Extra.

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