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Men’s lacrosse: Virginia drops OT thriller at #2 Notre Dame

virginia lacrosseThe Virginia Cavaliers (3-5, 0-2 ACC) dropped a heartbreaker in overtime, 8-7, against the No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1, 1-0 ACC) on Saturday night, inside Arlotta Stadium.

“It was clearly our best overall effort of the season,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia. “I thought we played 60-plus minutes and played hard the whole time. Defensively it was clearly our best performance overall. I thought Matt Barrett was good and the defensive in front of him battled the whole night against a very good offensive lacrosse team. It is painful to lose a game like this. You knew it was going to come down to the end. Their big boys made a couple of shots and that was the difference. I feel we are on the brink of something still, we have a chance here and we just have to go ahead and get to it.”

Sergio Perkovic tied the game for Notre Dame in regulation and 29 seconds into the overtime period his unassisted score won it for the Irish. Virginia broke a 5-5 tie with 9:59 left in the game when James Pannell scored his second goal of the season, giving UVA a 6-5 lead. Eddy Lubowicki brought Notre Dame even again, 6-6, with 2:27 left.

At the 1:24 mark Pannell shot again and Irish goalie Shane Doss made a tremendous save, but the ball caromed off his leg right toward Ryan Lukacovic, who kicked the ball in, giving UVA a 7-6 lead. Notre Dame won the ensuing faceoff and with 23 seconds left in regulation Perkovic tied the game.

Virginia won the ensuing faceoff and called time out with 16 seconds left. UVA was unable to get a shot off, sending the game into overtime and the eventual Notre Dame win. It was the second overtime game this season for both teams.

Notre Dame started the game with a narrow 2-0 lead, shutting UVA out until the 7:40 mark in the second period. Greg Coholan found nylon to put UVA on the board. Pannell scored his first goal with 1:13 left in the first half, sending the game into the intermission at a 2-2 tie.

Lukacovic scored his first goal in the third and Zed Williams tallied two scores giving UVA a 5-4 lead with 6:54 left in the third quarter. Notre Dame from that point finished regulation on a 3-2 run to force bonus lacrosse.

Notre Dame won the battle of shots (38-30) and saves (14-11). Virginia won the battle of ground balls (38-33) and faceoffs (14-4).

Virginia returns to action on Easter Sunday (March 27), when Johns Hopkins comes to Klöckner Stadium to battle for the Doyle Smith Cup. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised live on ESPNU.



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