A two-goal halftime lead ballooned to a 19-13 victory as the Virginia women’s lacrosse team took down UConn in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Hoos went on a seven goal run in the second half that broke the game wide open, led by Annie Dyson’s four goals and one assist.
Ashlyn McGovern and Taylor Regan each contributed a hat trick in the win, and 11 different players scored for the Hoos. Virginia led in shots (37-25), draw controls (18-13), turnovers (10-18), and caused turnovers (9-8).
Dyson got the scoring started just 2:17 into the game as the two teams combined for nine goals in the first 10 mins of the game. UConn tied things at 1-1, and responded to make it 2-2 after Virginia once again took a one-goal lead. The Huskies took their first lead of the day at 3-2 as they continued trading goals throughout the first half.
Neither team led by more than two until Dyson’s third of the first half gave Virginia an 8-5 lead with 9:44 left to play. Back-to-back goals from UConn’s Grace Coon cut the Virginia advantage back to one, but Taylor Regan gave the Hoos a 9-7 lead heading into the break.
After opening the second half with a goal, Virginia gave up two straight as the Huskies tried to stay within striking distance. Jaime Biskup pushed the Cavalier lead back to two, but Stephanie Palmucci responded just 1:20 later.
Then the floodgates opened. Dyson’s fourth got things rolling with 23:01 left in the second half, and Virginia would build its lead to seven in just under 15 minutes of game time. Seven different players scored for Virginia in that stretch as they peppered UConn’s goalkeeper Landyn White with shots.
UConn would stop the goal spurt with two goals late, and each team would add one more to the scoreboard before the final clock ran out.
Next up, Virginia will face host team and No. 5 seed Notre Dame on Sunday at 1pm. Notre Dame blanked Robert Morris, 16-0, in their tournament opener. The Fighting Irish bested the Hoos, 12-10, in Charlottesville in the regular season after a valiant comeback effort fell just short.