Men’s lacrosse: No. 9 UVA triumphant at Stony Brook, 15-14

uva lacrosseNo. 9 Virginia (6-1) sweeps its New York road trip, as the Cavaliers outlast the Stony Brook Seawolves (1-5) on Saturday afternoon, 15-14, at LaValle Stadium. Michael Kraus led UVA with 10 points on five goals and five assists as the Cavaliers move to 12-0 all-time against the Long Island school.

The 10 points by Kraus are the most by a Cavalier since Garrett Billings scored 11 points (8 goals, 3 assists) in 2009, ironically also at Stony Brook. Justin Schwenk was 20-of-25 from the faceoff X, making him the first Cavalier to have multiple career games with 20 or more faceoff wins. Schwenk won 25 against Princeton earlier this season.

“What an exciting display of fast-paced lacrosse today between two teams that play the game aggressively,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “I am sure for the fans in attendance it was an entertaining afternoon. We were fortunate to have as much success at the faceoff X as we did, thanks to the play of Justin Schwenk and Jared Conners. They were able to supply our offense with more and more opportunities, and certainly Michael Kraus made the most of all of this extra possession time. We need to finish the game more definitively, and improve our decision-making and ground ball acquisition on defense. The season is one long race to improve. We are a work in progress and we are eager to be back on the practice field Monday as we prepare for Notre Dame.”

Virginia started things quickly with a 3-0 lead. Matt Moore scored at 13:08 to put the Cavaliers on the board. Kraus followed with back-to-back assists on goals by Ian Laviano and Dox Aitken. The goal by Aitken with 10:55 left in the first capped the run.

The Seawolves retaliated with two goals to cut the Stony Brook deficit to one goal, 3-2, with nine seconds left in the first quarter. Virginia opened the second quarter on a 3-1 run, courtesy of goals by Regan Quinn on a Moore helper and two unassisted scores by Kraus. Connor Grippe and Own Daly scored for Stony Brook to close the first half, as the Cavaliers entered the intermission with a 6-5 lead.

Virginia erupted for eight goals in the third quarter, which ended up being the difference in the game. After UVA and Stony Brook traded goals to start the third quarter, the Cavaliers instigated an 8-1 run to take a 15-8 lead. Mike D’Amario started the run with his goal on a Kraus helper with 10:04 left in the quarter.

During UVA’s run, drama ensued. Stony Brook’s Patrick Kaschalk was flagged for a pushing penalty on Ian Laviano with 6:11 left in the third quarter. During the play, Laviano ended on the ground inside the substitution box, which caused the benches to empty in a small skirmish. Once the dust settled, UVA’s Zach Ambrosino and Stony Book’s Chris Pedone were each charged with three-minute unnecessary roughness penalties and were ejected.

UVA scored an EMO goal immediately in the five-on-four situation. Aitken scored the extra-man goal at 5:59 in the third. Both teams continued to play in a five-on-five situation until 3:11 left in the third. Stony Brook owned a 2-1 advantage during the five-on-five period, cutting its deficit to two goals, 10-8.

Once the game was back to six-on-six, Aitken rifled a goal on a Kraus helper with 1:44 left in the third quarter. After the shot, Stony Brook’s Harrison Matsuoka was penalized with a full-time served penalty for a cross-check to the head. After the penalty was called, there was another full-time served penalty assessed to the Seawolves’ coaching box for unsportsmanlike conduct. With UVA in a six-on-four extra-man situation for one minute, the Cavaliers scored two EMO goals, one by Aitken and the next by Mike Herring. Schwenk won three faceoffs in a three-on-one situation during the penalty as UVA took a 14-8 lead. Kraus capped the 8-1 UVA run with the Cavaliers’ lone goal in the fourth quarter at 12:53. With a 15-8 lead, UVA started to sub to its second and third strings.

Stony Brook made it interesting, finishing the game on a 6-0 run, prompting Tiffany to put starters back after the Seawolves scored the first three goals of the spurt. Stony Brook had the ball with 16 seconds left, but threw the ball out of bounds, securing the win for UVA.

Stony Brook won the battle of shots (46-43), including outshooting UVA 16-6 in the fourth quarter. UVA won the battle of ground balls (43-29), faceoffs (22-8) and saves (15-10). UVA also had more turnovers (19-14), while going a perfect 4-of-4 on extra-man offense.

In addition to Kraus’ day, Aitken added four goals to help pace the offense.

Virginia returns to ACC play next Saturday as the Cavaliers travel to Indiana on St. Patrick’s Day to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The game will faceoff at 6 p.m. and be televised live on ESPNU.


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