The No. 9 ranked Virginia men’s lacrosse team picked up a huge road win over No. 16 Johns Hopkins in Baltimore on Saturday night to improve to 6-2 (2-0 ACC) on the season. The Cavaliers and Blue Jays battled back and forth in the first half, entering the break tied at six.
After scoring the first goal of the third quarter, Johns Hopkins went on a two-goal run to retake the lead at 8-7. From there, it was all Virginia as the Hoos rattled off runs of three and four goals spanning the third and fourth quarters and broken up by one Hopkins goal. The two squads finished the game with two goals apiece, but the damage had already been done, and Virginia was able to head home with the Doyle Smith Cup.
Michael Kraus, one of three Virginia players with three goals, evened the score at eight with 7:50 remaining on this incredibly difficult shot:
Virginia re-took the lead for good on a Ryan Conrad dart 24 seconds later, and Dox Aitken gave the Hoos a 10-8 advantage with 5:01 left in the third quarter with this bouncing left-handed shot:
Johns Hopkins applied some pressure with a goal from Evan Zinn to make it 10-9 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter, but Virginia replied with a four goal run that put the game out of reach. Face-off man Petey LaSalla hit the highlight goal of the game on this behind-the-back score with 8:39 left in the game and gave Virginia a 15-10 advantage:
The 16-11 win over the Blue Jays was Virginia’s biggest win over Hopkins in Baltimore, and continued a positive trend over the past couple weeks for the Hoos. After starting the season 1-2 with losses to No. 4 Loyola and No. 13 High Point, Virginia has won five straight games, including ACC wins over No. 14 Syracuse and No. 7 Notre Dame.
Wins over Princeton, Syracuse, and Brown needed overtime in three straight games, and the victories over the Orange, Bears, and Irish required second-half comebacks of at least four goals.
Matt Moore joined Kraus and Aitken with three goals scored in Saturday night’s game against Hopkins, and Kraus added two assists for a team-high five points. Virginia didn’t dominate the stats as Hopkins grabbed more ground balls (29-28), won more face offs (17-13), and registered more saves (12-10). They did, however, win the turnover battle (16-13) and — most importantly — score more goals.
This is the first time since 2012 that Virginia has started 2-0 in the ACC (back when Maryland was still in the conference), and the first season with road wins against Syracuse and Hopkins since 2009. There’s still a lot to clean up for a team that has had issues on the defensive end, but Coach Tiffany was happy with his team’s performance.
“This is a group that truly believes in each other. The fact we are coming out of the halftime locker room playing our best lacrosse is a reflection of our conditioning. We have really tried to focus on training with purpose. Everyone works hard, but are you training with a purpose? I think we have doing a better job of balancing our training in the weight room, but we are also doing more sprints and you are seeing us not deteriorate as the game goes on, but get stronger. What I was really happy with in the second half was our ride. We challenged our attackmen at halftime and we take a lot of pride in the way we ride. At halftime Hopkins was perfect and I told Ian [Laviano], Michael [Kraus] and Matt [Moore], we need more pressure and create some more errant passes. That was a big part of our ability to surge ahead in the second half the way we did.”– Lars Tiffany
Check out the full highlights below: