No. 11 Virginia drops ACC men’s lacrosse title game to No. 16 Notre Dame

virginia lacrosseThe No. 11 Virginia Cavaliers (11-5) fell in the ACC Championship game to the No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-5) on Sunday afternoon, 17-7, at Klöckner Stadium. The Fighting Irish claimed their second ACC Tournament title since joining the league in 2014.

“They beat us well and I have to give them a ton of credit,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “They are really good off the ground, aren’t they? I mean their long poles pick up balls despite getting chopped and us hitting them and those extra possessions you start feeling those extra minutes piling up against our defense. What they do probably better than anybody is their on ball on Aitken. You can slide to Dox Aitken and double him, but the first guy is still lifting his hands when we play against Notre Dame. They’re still being confrontational, so he is having a hard time getting his hands free and all of a sudden it’s a double team and so they forced Dox into a rough day.”

Despite the wide margin of defeat for UVA, the Cavaliers struck first on a Michael Kraus goal at 12:56 on a helper from Ian Laviano. Notre Dame proceeded to go on an 11-2 run that ended with 9:39 left in the third quarter. Ryder Garnsey capped the big Notre Dame streak with an unassisted goal, giving the Irish an 11-3 lead.

Kraus helped UVA break through with an unassisted goal at 8:15 in the third, cutting the Notre Dame lead to seven goals, 11-4. Kraus’ goal started a mini 4-2 run for the Cavaliers. Mikey Herring’s goal on Matt Moore’s third assist of the game finished the Cavaliers scoring with 12:26 left. Notre Dame finished off the game on a 4-0 run to claim victory.

Notre Dame won the battle of shots (38-35) and ground balls (45-41), while UVA had more faceoff wins (15-11), saves (9-8) and turnovers (25-23).

Mike D’Amario, Justin Schwenk, Kraus and Moore all were named to the ACC All-Tournament team. Duke placed two players, Rielly Walsh and Brad Smith, on the team. Syracuse’s Stephen Rehfuss made the squad. Notre Dame placed four on the team lead by tournament MVP Bryan Costabile. Garnsey, John Sexton and Matt Schmidt also made the team.

Virginia returns to action on Tuesday in its regular season final when in-state foe VMI comes to Klöckner Stadium. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra.

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