Men’s lacrosse: No. 17 UVA tops Saint Joseph’s, 9-7
“We didn’t want to fall in the trap of not being ready,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia. “It appeared as if that is where we were at times. I thought our older guys responded during portions of the game and made some plays. That is a very good offensive lacrosse team we faced. We dug down and I thought Matt Barrett did what he needed to do. Offensively we made enough plays to win, which is different than what we have been doing the last couple weeks. We have made a lot plays, but not enough to win. Tonight we made enough plays to win. In our world this was an important game for us and it was nice to get this ‘W’ as we look to move forward.”
It appeared the game would be controlled by the Virginia offense as they took 19 shots in the first quarter compared to the Hawks’ two. UVA owned an early 2-0 lead through the first frame as the Cavaliers held Saint Joseph’s scoreless for the game’s first 20:10 of play. Matt Emery and Ryan Lukacovic each scored goals in the first quarter for Virginia.
Saint Joseph’s found nylon for the first time at 9:50 in the second quarter when Kevin Forster scored unassisted. The goal jumpstarted a 6-1 Saint Joseph’s run, as the Hawks owned control and a 6-3 lead with 3:16 left in the third quarter. UVA’s lone goal during the streak was by Mike D’Amario after the sophomore attackman picked up a ground ball, via a AJ Fish shot that caromed off the goalie, and in one fluid motion shot the ball behind his head as he moved from right to left in front of the cage. It was UVA’s lone goal in the second quarter.
The Hawks scored the first two goals of the third quarter to cap the run, as Hayes Mcginley and Kevin Reidinger tallied scores. Ryan Conrad halted the Saint Joseph’s run with 1:17 left in the third quarter when Greg Coholan found the freshman midfielder, cutting the UVA deficit to two goals, 6-4.
Davis Stoner was charged with a pushing penalty to close the third quarter, giving UVA a man-up opportunity to start the fourth quarter. Joe French didn’t waste time as he cut toward the crease for his second goal of the season. Lukacovic earned the assist on the extra-man goal, cutting the UVA deficit to one goal, 6-5.
Pat Swanick gave the Hawks a little breathing room when he scored on a Kyle Cain pass with 12:34 left in the game, giving SJU a 7-5 lead. The Hawks never found nylon again as UVA closed the game on a 4-0 run.
D’Amario scored his second goal of the game at 9:36 to bring UVA within one goal, 7-6. Phil Poquie, making his collegiate debut, scored back-to-back goals at 9:36 and 8:47 to give UVA the lead for good, 8-7. James Pannell scored on an empty net at 1:17 to ice the game.
Virginia won the battle of shots (45-32), ground balls (35-27) and faceoffs (12-6), while Saint Joseph’s had more saves (10-8) and turnovers (14-10).
Virginia returns to action on Saturday when the Cavaliers head to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on the Cornell Big Red. Faceoff is set for noon.