#6 UVa. women’s lax beats #12 Syracuse

Virginia junior goalkeeper Kim Kolarik (Riva, Md.) made 10 saves to lead the No. 6 Virginia women’s lacrosse team to a 9-7 victory over No. 12 Syracuse in front of 1,011 at Klöckner Stadium on Sunday (Feb. 26).

With the win, the Cavaliers improved to 3-0 on the young season, while the Orange fell to 1-1. Kolarik picked up her third win of the season, while Alyssa Constantino took the loss.

Reigning WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week Liza Blue (Butler, Md.) scored her first collegiate hat trick, while Charlie Finnigan (Twickenham, England) added two free position goals for the Cavaliers.

Syracuse scored back-to-back goals to cut the Cavalier lead to 9-7 with 5:40 left, but Kolarik made two saves from point blank range with under five minutes to go to break the Orange’s momentum.

The Cavaliers led in ground balls, 17-14, while draw controls were tied at nine apiece.

Kailah Kempney scored two goals and Alyssa Murray added a goal with two assists to lead the Orange.

Katie Webster opened the scoring for the Orange at the 28:07 mark of the first period after intercepting a pass in the Cavalier zone. The Cavaliers responded with Ainsley Baker’s seventh goal of the season off a feed from Josie Owen (Gibson Island, Md.) at 22:26.

After a near 14-minute stretch without a goal, UVa struck with goals from Blue and Morgan Stephens (Olney, Md.) just over a minute apart to take the lead, 3-2.

Syracuse pulled within one at 4-3 with 1:53 left in the half, but Owen started a 5-2 run for the Cavaliers with a goal with 21 seconds left in the period.

Kolarik made another two big saves in the second half during a 12-minute stretch where the Cavaliers held the Orange scoreless.

At halftime, Virginia retired former Cavalier standout Robyn Nye Wood’s No. 24. Nye played for UVa from 1988-91 and was a member of the 1991 NCAA Champion squad. That season she was named the National Defensive Player of the Year, an All-American, the team’s Most Valuable Player and a member of the NCAA All-Tournament team in addition to serving as the Cavaliers’ team captain. Nye’s first All-America nod came in 1990. In addition, Nye made the ACC Academic Honor Roll all four of her years at UVa.

The Cavaliers return to action March 2 when they travel to College Park, Md., to face Maryland at 7 p.m.

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