Men’s lacrosse: No. 7 UVA falls late at No. 4 Notre Dame, 9-7

uva lacrosseThe No. 7 Virginia Cavaliers (6-2, 0-2 ACC) dropped a heartbreaker against the No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-1, 1-ACC) on Saturday evening, 9-7, at Arlotta Stadium. The Cavaliers played catch-up most of the game after the Fighting Irish were up 4-0 only 4:38 into the game.

“The slow start is inexcusable,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “I need to have this team prepared to win from the opening whistle and that did not happen today. Our group of men did not back down from the early four-goal deficit. This Virginia team loves playing this game and they showed grit and evolving discipline with how they attacked the deficit. Against some fantastic defense and defensive personnel, Michael Kraus put this team on his shoulders and gave us both hope and confidence. Can we be sharper with our stickwork? Of course. But this team will continue to improve and we will sharpen our product. It is a treat to coach this group of men – they care and we will learn from this.”

Bryan Costabile capped the early 4-0 run with a goal on a Brendan Gleason helper at 10:22 left in the first quarter. UVA retaliated with a 4-0 run, all goals scored by Michael Kraus. Mikey Herring found Kraus on the crease with 11:18 left in the first half, capping the spurt.

The Irish scored two goals before the half, giving Notre Dame a 6-4 lead at the intermission. Costabile’s second goal of the game with 55 seconds left capped the mini two-goal streak.

The Cavaliers dominated the third quarter, scoring all three goals to take its first lead of the game, 7-6. Dox Aitken scored two unassisted goals to tie the game and Mike D’Amario found nylon at 2:52 in the third on an extra-man opportunity to give the Cavaliers their only lead of the game.

Notre Dame held UVA in check on the defensive end for most of the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers didn’t even attempt a shot for a span of over seven minutes late in the frame. The Irish scored two goals to start the fourth quarter, taking an 8-7 lead with 12:20 left to play. Once UVA pulled goalie Alex Rode out of the cage to help double Notre Dame in the final minute, the Irish capped its win with an open-net goal with 53 seconds left.

UVA won the battle of shots (30-25), while Notre Dame had move ground balls (33-29), faceoffs (10-9) and saves (7-6). Both teams had 15 turnovers each.

The Cavaliers return to action on Tuesday when Dartmouth comes to Klöckner Stadium. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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