Men’s lacrosse: Virginia cruises to victory over VMI, 19-4

virginia lacrosseSixteen different Cavaliers scored at least one point as Virginia (5-5) cruises to a home victory over the VMI Keydets (1-10) on Tuesday evening, 19-4, inside Klöckner Stadium.

“I felt in the first quarter we stood around at both ends of the field,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia. “I felt badly because the Hopkins game was supposed to be a Saturday night game and TV moved it to Sunday, so it made turning around so quickly difficult for us. To our kids’ credit, they responded. We got after them a little bit after the first quarter and they responded. Everybody stepped up. For the most part, a bunch of young guys got some meaningful minutes early in the game and that’s important. You’ve got a bunch of guys here who have been grinding this out since mid-January, and it’s special to put your uniform on and get under the lights here on Klöckner on game day and be able to make a couple plays. We had a bunch of young guys who were able to do that, so it was a good night for us overall.”

Six Cavaliers made their collegiate debut against the Keydets, including Theo Dol, Tyler Kellogg, Ryan Montgomery Will Sipperly, Nick Wood and Lazare Zoungrana. Tyler Breen and Sipperly each scored their first career goals, while Matt Dziama and Townsend Brown scored their first career points off of assists.

VMI owned an early 3-1 lead after goals from Tom Nofi, Brad Nardella and Cody Sheetz scored to start the game. Sheetz capped the run on a Nofi helper with 12:12 left in the second quarter. Virginia then closed out the game on an 18-1 run to cruise to the victory. The final UVA run including a span of 12 straight Virginia goals during a 27 minute scoring drought from VMI, lasting between the second and third quarters.

Virginia scored nine goals in the second quarter behind three scores from James Pannell, who led UVA with four on the night. During the second quarter Pannell tallied his 100th career point with his second goal of the game. Mike D’Amario scored two goals during the second quarter as well.

VMI’s lone second half goal came with 12 seconds left in the third quarter when Wesley Sanders found nylon. Virginia outscored VMI 6-0 in the fourth quarter behind three goals from Breen and three assists from Zach Wood. Sipperly and Ryan Lamb also scored in the fourth frame.

Virginia won the battle of shots (48-20), ground balls (50-25) and faceoffs (19-7). Saves were equal (10-10) and VMI had more turnovers (16-15). Jason Murphy was a perfect 8-of-8 on faceoffs for UVA, while Dave Smith was 5-of-7 and Jeff Kratky was 6-of-11.

Virginia returns to action on Saturday at in-state foe Richmond. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.

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