Men’s lacrosse: No. 10 UVA tops Dartmouth, 12-6
The No. 10 Virginia Cavaliers (7-2) received goals from seven different players en route to a mid-week win over the Dartmouth Big Green (2-4) of the Ivy League, 12-6, on Tuesday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium.
Despite UVA cruising to victory over the Big Green, the halftime score suggested a much closer game. UVA held a 4-2 edge because Dartmouth’s goalie, George Christopher, made 10 saves in the first half.
“What an impressive effort by the Dartmouth goalie tonight,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “George Christopher made those ten saves in the first half. We certainly felt like we were playing at a high level and did some good things offensively, but the ball just wasn’t going in. We were only up 4-2 at the half and I do think we could have moved the ball better. I do think we didn’t recognize how early Dartmouth was sliding and recovering and we have to recognize a team that can double the ball that quickly. We got better as the day went on. I think we became more fundamental with our shooting and the results were wonderful for a coach. When we become more fundamental, we start to put more balls at the back of the net. I was happy with the defense, that we were able to put pressure on a young attack unit of Dartmouth and create a lot of turnovers. That was important to not allow them to possess the ball because they were patient on offense and the more pressure we could put to create those turnovers allowed us to get that transition game going.”
The Big Green scored first, 1:57 into the game. George Prince found Ben Martin on the crease for Dartmouth’s only assisted goal of the game, giving the Big Green its only lead, 1-0.
Cameron Stafford took a Mitch Gordon helper at 10:23 in the first to tie the game, 1-1. Regan Quinn put UVA up, 2-1, with 1:10 left in the first on a Stafford assist. After Dartmouth’s Trevor Ballantyne tied the game, 2-2, at 12:49 in the second, UVA reeled off a 3-0 run to take a 5-2 lead. During the spurt, Gordon scored his first goal of the season, followed by another Stafford goal and Ian Laviano capped the run with 13:17 left in the third on a great transition assist from Dave Smith.
Martin cut the Dartmouth deficit to two goals, 5-3, with an unassisted goal at 11:54 in the third. Virginia retaliated with a 5-1 run to put the game all but out of reach. Dox Aitken scored twice during the streak, while Michael Kraus found nylon, while Quinn and Laviano each scored their second goals of the game. Quinn capped the run on a Matt Moore helper with 7:55 left in the game.
Dartmouth made it a four-goal game, 10-6, with a 2-0 run as Martin capped his hat-trick with 6:00 left in the game. Stafford and Moore finished the game’s scoring after that and secured the victory for UVA.
UVA won the battle of shots (40-23), ground balls (45-31) and faceoffs (13-8). Dartmouth had more saves (12-8) and turnovers (18-12).
Making his first UVA start after making 11 career starts at Vermont (2015-16), Stafford tallied his fourth collegiate hat-trick and first at UVA. Gordon made his first collegiate start and finished with one goal and two assists. UVA played 33 different Cavaliers on Tuesday in order to give longer rest spurts to starters.
Virginia returns to action on Saturday when No. 9 Johns Hopkins comes to town for the annual battle for the Doyle Smith Cup, the spoils of the regular season winner in the annual rivalry game. Faceoff is set for 11:30 a.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.