It wouldn’t be a Virginia-Loyola game unless things got close in the 4th quarter, but the No. 3 Cavaliers came away with a solid 15-12 win over No. 11 Loyola on the road. Matt Moore led Virginia with five goals as the Hoos improved to 3-0 on the season with two ranked wins.
Virginia took a three-goal lead into the fourth quarter, but Loyola closed within one to keep the pressure on before a late push from the Hoos to pull away.
Seven different players scored for Virginia, with redshirt first year Connor Shellenberger adding five points (two goals, three assists), Payton Cormier chipping in three goals, and Charlie Bertrand added two goals and two assists.
Bobby Gavin started in goal again for Virginia as Alex Rode was unavailable, and the first year keeper had nine saves (42%). Gavin faced 46 shots from the Greyhounds, but came up with five saves in the second half to help the Hoos secure the win. At the face-off X, Virginia won 17-of-31 attempts (55%), led by Petey LaSalla’s 15-of-24 (63%) mark.
Loyola scored first, taking a 1-0 lead on a nice finish from Kevin Lindley. Shellenberger shook his defender to get some space and tied the game at one. The Greyhounds rattled off the next three goals as they won face-offs and got some favorable bounces to take a 4-1 lead to end the first quarter.
Bertrand pulled Virginia within two with a precision shot to the top corner, and Moore made it a 4-3 game on an outside rip. Aitken tied things up at four just moments later, and LaSalla gave the Hoos their first lead of the game on the ensuing face off. Laviano’s first goal of the day pushed Virginia’s lead to two as the Cavaliers rattled off a four goal run.
The Greyhounds broke their 12:34 scoring drought with a goal late in the second quarter, but Cormier responded to keep Virginia’s advantage at two. A late goal by Loyola with 20 seconds left in the half made it 7-6, and the Hoos couldn’t convert on a couple late looks to push the lead before the halftime break.
Virginia got six goals from six different players in the first half, and Shellenberger dished three assists to go with his goal. Gavin had another slow start in cage, but he came up with four first half saves.
Loyola opened the second half with a goal, tying things up at seven. Moore responded on the next possession with his second goal of the game as he rolled inside his defender and tiptoed along the crease for the low finish. Bertrand’s second of the day gave Virginia a two-goal lead once again, but a questionable slash call against Bertrand gave Loyola a man-up opportunity that the Greyhounds would cash in on.
Savio won another face-off for the home squad, and Gavin’s struggles in cage continued as Loyola canned its ninth goal of the game to tie things up once again. Neither team would score for nearly seven minutes before Moore called his own number again for his third of the day. Gavin put up three saves in a 1:33 span, keeping Loyola off the scoreboard and allowing Moore to give the Hoos the 10-9 lead on the other end.
Cormier somehow managed to get a shot to go with one second on the shot clock as he fell to his left, giving Virginia an 11-9 lead with 46 seconds left in the third quarter. LaSalla won the ensuing face-off, and Moore’s fourth kept the Hoos humming as they used a 3-0 run over the final three minutes of the third quarter.
The Greyhounds wouldn’t go away, however. Loyola scored two goals in the first 49 seconds of the fourth, cutting Virginia’s lead to 12-11 in a hurry. A much-needed save from Gavin — his eighth of the game — gave the Hoos the ball, and Shellenberger somehow got a squeaker to go off of a ricochet to push the lead back to two. Loyola kept the pressure on with a goal to make it 13-12 with 7:38 to play.
Moore and Cormier scored back-to-back to put the Cavaliers back on top by three with 4:34 remaining. That’s the closest Loyola would get as the Greyhounds couldn’t convert down the stretch.
Next up, Virginia hits the road again for a top-5 ACC matchup at No. 4 Syracuse. This is the first meeting between the two this season, and it is set to face off at 6pm on the ACC Network.