The No. 12 Virginia men’s lacrosse team used a big fourth quarter to take down in-commonwealth foe Richmond, 14-10, on Saturday afternoon. The Hoos improved to 8-3 on the season with the win and rebounded from last weekend’s soul-crushing loss to Johns Hopkins.
Virginia’s Michael Kraus led the way with four goals on seven shots (57%) and added one assist on the afternoon. Dox Aitken and Mikey Herring each added two goals in the win, and six more Wahoos had one goal apiece.
Jared Conners, who scored the game winning goal for the Hoos the last time these two teams met, opened scoring with a blazing long-stick goal 3:40 into the contest. Richmond answered, but back-to-back scores from Herring and Ian Laviano gave Virginia a 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Spiders opened the second quarter with three straight goals, two of which came after great stops by Virginia goalie Alex Rode that were followed by intercepted passes and easy finishes by Richmond. Virginia re-took the lead, 6-5, with 3:12 left in the first half on a goal by Aitken, but the Spiders answered to make it a tie game at the break.
Things didn’t start out great for Virginia in the third quarter as Richmond scored back-to-back goals to take an 8-6 lead before Regan Quinn notched his seventh goal of the season to pull the Hoos back within one. When a Ryan Lee goal gave the Spiders a 9-7 lead with 8:53 left in the the third quarter, the pressure was on the Hoos down the stretch. Mitch Gordon pulled Virginia within one with 6:49 to play in the third, but neither team was able to score for the rest of the period.
The fourth quarter was all Virginia, and mostly Kraus. The Cavaliers scored four straight to open the fourth, with two coming from Kraus in the stretch. A goal from Ryan Lanchbury kept the Spiders within striking distance at 12-10 with just under five minutes to play, but Aitken’s second of the game gave the Hoos some breathing room. Kraus’s fourth of the game came on an open-netter with 2:03 remaining as the Spiders tried to utilize a double to hopefully turn the Hoos over.
Rode was outstanding in cage with 13 saves, and face off man Justin Schwenk had a solid day going 16-of-27 (59%). The Hoos are No. 1 in the country in ground balls, and they showed their prowess with 46 to Richmond’s 33. In the decisive fourth quarter, the Hoos grabbed 19 ground balls while the Spiders only had eight. First year defenseman Will Rock led the team with six ground balls in the game.
Check out the highlights below:
Next up, the Hoos hit the road to face currently unranked North Carolina in a huge (cannot be understated how huge) matchup. Virginia desperately needs an ACC win to both make the ACC tournament and keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive. The game is Saturday at 6pm and will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.