UVa. attackman James Pannell led all scorers with four goals to elevate the No. 7 Virginia Cavaliers (2-0) over the Richmond Spiders (0-1) on Saturday afternoon, 13-12, in front of 4,249 at Robins Stadium. It was the inaugural game for the Richmond men’s lacrosse program.
“We are pleased and proud to be able to be a part of Richmond’s first game,” said Virginia head coach dom starsia. “I thought it was a great atmosphere and setting for a game.”
Virginia started the game with a 6-2 lead, but Richmond scored seven-straight goals that catapulted ur into the lead. The run helped the Spiders cruise into the intermission with a 9-8 advantage.
“We were a little sleepy early in the game and I would have liked to see us come out and be a little more alert,” said Starsia. “Richmond, who was playing with a lot of enthusiasm, was able to come out and jump on a bunch of things. It seemed like a lot of their opportunities came off restarts, second chances and offensive rebounds. Generally that is a sign of overall alertness. I think on that ledger, Richmond had an advantage. We battled, we fought and I am not going to turn my nose up at a 2-0 start for us. I am happy to get this one behind us.”
During UVa’s opening run, the Cavaliers saw the first collegiate goals by Zach Wood and Ryan Lukacovic. Mark Cockerton scored an extra-man goal with 1:06 left in the first period to give UVa the 6-2 lead. UVa did not score again for 12:25 of playing time while Richmond reeled off seven-straight goals. Cockerton broke the scoring hiatus for UVa with his second goal at 1:26 in the second quarter. The Cavaliers won the ensuing faceoff courtesy of Mick Parks, which led to a Tyler German goal with 7.7 seconds left in the first half, bringing UVa to within a goal, 9-8, at the break.
Richmond started the second half scoring on an unassisted goal by Mitchell Goldberg, 17 seconds into the third period. Richmond did not score again for the next 17:49, during a span when UVa took an 11-10 advantage. Greg Coholan, German and Pannell each scored their second goals of the game during the 3-0 UVa run that ended the third period.
Alex Hatem brought Richmond even, 11-11, on a goal assisted by Cory Palmer with 12:04 left in the game. UVa wasted no time taking the lead back for good five seconds later when Parks won the ensuing faceoff. Parks immediately found Pannell five seconds later, giving UVa the 12-11 lead. Pannell scored again on a Rob Emery helper with 7:54 left to give UVa a 13-11 lead. Richmond inched closer at 7:44 on a Michael Burns goal, but that was the game’s last score. UVa held on for the one-goal victory.
Virginia won the battle of shots (46-24), ground balls (43-31), while faceoffs were a draw (14-14). Richmond made 14 saves in the cage to UVa’s five.
Pannell led UVa with four goals and one assist, while Cockerton, Coholan and German all had two goals. Scott McWilliams and Joseph Lisicky each caused four turnovers, while Tanner Scales caused three turnovers. Goldberg led Richmond with three goals and two assists. Dan Ginestro earned the honor of scoring the first goal in Richmond men’s lacrosse program history.
Virginia returns to action on Feb. 15 when the Cavaliers travel to the City of Brotherly Love for its annual tilt with the Drexel Dragons. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m.