Men’s lacrosse: No. 11 UVA races past No. 20 North Carolina, 15-12
Michael Kraus scored seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) and Mike D’Amario added four goals to assist the No. 11 Virginia Cavaliers (9-3, 1-2 ACC) to a key Atlantic Coast Conference win over No. 20 North Carolina (6-6, 0-2 ACC) on Saturday night, 15-12, at Kenan Stadium. The win helps UVA surpass its 2017 total (eight) and snaps an 18-game losing streak in conference play.
The win is UVA’s 51st all-time against North Carolina. The 51 wins against the Tar Heels are the most in program history against any opponent. A close second is Duke, who UVA has 49 all-time wins against.
UVA’s defense also shutdown UNC attackman Chris Cloutier, who was No. 2 in the nation with an active 31-game goal-scoring streak. UVA defensemen Logan Greco helped snap the streak as Cloutier didn’t score any goals and managed only two assists. Cloutier’s streak started on May 14, 2016.
“Tonight was a big win in league play,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “It gives us an opportunity to control our own destiny moving forward as opposed to hoping and waiting on other results. The destiny is back in our hands. I give a lot of credit to our offensive coordinator Sean Kirwan. He put us in a really good position to attack North Carolina’s zone defense. Coach Breschi has a great defensive mind on how to protect their goalies. UNC’s defense is very smart and I was really excited how our men took Coach Kirwan’s message to heart, executed the game plan and we certainly shot well tonight.”
The Tar Heels found nylon first, scoring at 11:18 in the first to take an early 1-0 lead. UVA responded with a 3-1 run, taking its first lead of the game, 3-2. After Dox Aitken’s first shot of the game was saved, Ian Laviano picked up the garbage and quickly scored to start the run. Aitken scored back-to-back goals to give UVA the lead. His second was off a Kraus pass at 3:37 in the first.
UNC tied the game, 3-3, at 14:07 after William Perry scored on a Timmy Kelly assist. It was the last time the game was tied as Virginia finished the first half on a 6-1 run, taking a 9-4 lead into the intermission. The streak started on back-to-back goals by D’Amario, both on Mikey Herring helpers. Herring found D’Amario wide open on the crease on both goals, the second was a creative fake followed by a behind-the-back goal. D’Amario recorded a hat-trick during the run, Matt Moore scored once and Kraus scored twice, including capping the scoring in the first half with an unassisted tally at 1:37 in the second.
D’Amario started the third quarter with a goal on a Kraus assist at 9:38. UNC bounced back quickly, going on a 3-0 spurt to cut its deficit to three goals, 10-7. Perry scored a man-up goal at 7:23 in the third quarter. UVA retaliated with its own 3-0 run on goals by Kraus and back-to-back scores by Laviano. The third goal of the game for Laviano came at 1:27 in the third on a Herring assist to give the Cavaliers a 13-7 lead.
North Carolina finished the game on a 5-2 run, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Cavalier lead.
Virginia won the battle of shots (38-34) and ground balls (34-31). UNC had more faceoff wins (16-12), saves (12-10) and turnovers (11-10). Kraus led UVA with seven points on three goals and four assists. After D’Amario’s four goals and Laviano’s three scores, UVA received two goals each from Aitken and Moore. Herring had an impressive night with one goal and three assists. Greco and Will Rock each caused three turnovers.
UVA’s last win against an ACC opponent was North Carolina in the 2014 ACC Showcase game. The last win in an ACC contest was against Syracuse in 2014.
UVA returns to action next Saturday when Duke comes to Klöckner Stadium. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra.