Women’s lacrosse: No. 9 Virginia outlasts No. 5 Syracuse, 17-16
With the win, it is the best start for the Cavaliers since the 2007 season, when UVA was ACC Champions and NCAA Runners-up. Virginia also picked up its first win over Syracuse since 2012.
It was a battle from the beginning, Syracuse led 8-4 with five minutes to go in the first half. Virginia came back to tie it up 8-8 with a 4-0 run, but Syracuse scored two to take a 10-8 lead into the half. The Cavaliers scored first out of the break and then had a 4-0 run to lead 13-11. Syracuse tied it again and the teams began trading goals. UVA scored back-to-back goals to lead 17-15 with 2:18 to play. Syracuse cut it to one with 1:36 remaining but UVA controlled the ball for the remainder to take the win.
“I knew it was going to be a tight game, it was two very physical and fast teams that were desperate to make a mark in the ACC,” head coach Julie Myers said. “I’m really proud of the girls’ effort and thought we had teamwork all over the field. If we made a mistake, we have a Virginia kid right there to pick up the slack. We had lots of people scoring when they found themselves the free player. Taylor Regan had a big goal and Daniela Kelly was able to hit the eight-meter so when they had the opportunity I was proud to see them step up and get it done.”
Senior Kasey Behr (Northport, N.Y.) led the Cavaliers with four goals and had one assist. Junior Maggie Jackson (Alexandria, Va.) had four points with three goals and an assist and senior Lilly DiNardo had a career-high three goals.
Behr and junior Sophie Alecce (Baltimore, Md.) each had two caused turnovers. Jackson led the Cavaliers with seven draw controls and Behr added six. Jackson and sophomore Sammy Mueller (Pelham, N.Y.) led with four ground balls apiece.
Senior Ana Hagerup (Washington, D.C.) scored the first goal of the game at the 26:32 mark on the assist from Behr. Syracuse scored three straight to take a 3-1 lead. Behr notched her first of the day, then junior Avery Shoemaker (Wyndmoor, Pa.) and Jackson scored as UVA tied it up 3-3 with 14:18 on the clock in the first half. Syracuse had another run, this time with five goals to lead 8-4.
Muller converted a free position, then Behr took advantage of an eight-meter to cut it to 8-6. Jackson then scored her second of the day and DiNardo found the net to tie the game 8-8 with 2:22left in the first half. Syracuse would score back-to-back goals to lead 10-8 at the break.
Just 15 seconds into the second half, Behr won the draw and ran down to score as UVA was within one, 10-9. Syracuse took a two-goal lead again, but DiNardo scored to spark a 4-0 run for the Cavaliers that included the first goal of the season for senior Daniela Kelly (Rumson, N.J.) and goals by Jackson and Behr, as UVA took a 13-11 lead with 23:06 remaining.
The Orange would come back to tie the game once again. Freshman Taylor Regan (Larchmont, N.Y.) scored her first collegiate goal to put UVA back in front. Syracuse countered, but UVA had the advantage once again on DiNardo’s hat trick as she converted a free position with 8:47 to play. The game was tied once again on a Syracuse score, but Shoemaker found the net and Kelly scored the eventual game-winner on a free position. Syracuse cut it to 17-16, but Virginia won the ensuing draw and ran out the clock for the win.
Virginia led Syracuse in shots (36-25), ground balls (17-15) and draw controls (20-14). The Cavaliers had five free position goals to four for the Orange. Cuse had five saves to two for UVA.
Virginia will have a break before hosting North Carolina on Saturday, March 10 at 1 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium.