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Men’s lacrosse: No. 12 UVA charges past Richmond, 14-10

uva lacrosseVirginia sophomore Michael Kraus scored four goals and dished out one assist as the No. 12 Cavaliers (8-3) charged past in-state foe Richmond (5-5) on Saturday afternoon, 14-10, at Klöckner Stadium.

Despite trailing the Spiders by one goal after three quarters, 9-8, the Cavaliers outhustled their way to victory in the fourth quarter. Winning ground balls in the final frame, 19-8, UVA finished the game on a 6-1 run, including three goals by Kraus, to win the game.

“What an effort off the ground by our team in the fourth quarter,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “Richmond battled us the entire day. The key to this win was possession. Both offenses are dangerous, and I was just really impressed with how we picked up ground balls in that fourth quarter. It was not always the same guys with Cory Harris coming in and John Fox picking up key ground balls. Obviously, our faceoff wins [were important] as well. It just was a great relentless effort. We showed that not only can we be physically prepared in the fourth quarter, but mentally. We have talked a lot about really communicating about the next play, staying in the now, keeping that mindset. Despite being down a couple of goals in the third quarter, I was really impressed with our mindset today and that is going to be key moving forward.”

UVA opened the game on a 3-1 run behind goals from Jared Conners, Mikey Herring and Ian Laviano. Two failed UVA clears led directly to Richmond goals and the game was tied, 3-3, with 10:21 left in the second quarter. The Spiders capped a 3-0 run with an unassisted goal by Garrett Smith at 10:15 left in the second quarter.

The Cavaliers replied with another 3-1 run, taking a 6-5 lead. Wade Maloney found Dox Aitken with 3:12 left in the half, capping the run. Austin Brown scored a man-up goal with 49 seconds left in the first half for Richmond, sending the game into the intermission tied at 6-6.

Richmond wasted no time to start the third quarter, scoring two quick goals and taking an 8-6 lead after only 1:07 of play in the third quarter. An Aitken holding penalty at the close of the second quarter gave the Spiders an extra-man opportunity with possession to start the third and aid in the Spider spurt.

A Regan Quinn goal followed by a Spider goal (Ryan Lee) with 8:53 left in the third quarter kept UVA’s deficit at two goals, 9-7.

A beautiful defensive strip by UVA’s Scott Hooper started a quick fast break and Will Rock found Mitch Gordon with 6:49 left in the third for the Cavalier goal that started a 7-1 run to end the game, six of which came in the fourth quarter. UVA tied the game with 12:45 left to play after a tremendous defensive strip by Richmond landed right in the stick of Cameron Stafford. The UVA senior promptly deposited his good fortune into the net. UVA never trailed again.

Kraus scored back-to-back goals at 9:56 and 7:58 left, giving UVA the game’s final lead. Herring, Aitken and Kraus all scored in the game’s final minutes to put a stamp on the win.

Virginia won the battle of shots (40-32), ground balls (46-33), faceoffs (17-10) and saves (13-7). Turnovers were the same, 16-16. Thirteen different Cavaliers scored points, led by Kraus and his five (four goals, one assist). Aitken and Herring were the only other multi-goal scorers with two each. Maloney dished out a career-high two assists. Matt Moore also had two assists.

UVA returns to action next Saturday when the Cavaliers visit Chapel Hill to face North Carolina. The game will be contested at Kenan Stadium and faceoff is set for 6 p.m. The ACC matchup will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra.

augusta free press
augusta free press