Women’s lacrosse downs Tech on senior day, 17-10

Bocklet racks up career-high six goals, Swan dishes four assists, Blue scores four times

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Senior attacker Casey Bocklet tormented the Hokies Friday evening, scoring a career-high six goals and adding an assist. 

Zoe Toone | Cavalier Daily

The seniors on the No. 5 Virginia women’s lacrosse team have led their team to victory time after time this season, and it was no different Friday when they were honored before Virginia’s regular-season finale against Virginia Tech in the team’s annual senior day ceremony.

By night’s end, the seniors had scored 14 of Virginia’s 17 goals as the Cavaliers (11-5, 4-3 ACC) won 17-10 in a rain-delayed game at Klöckner Stadium.

"I thought we did a nice job of starting strong,” coach Julie Myers said. “Even though it wasn't perfect, we were resilient and stayed with it. We moved the ball well, made some plays and transitioned the ball cleanly. I give Virginia Tech a lot of credit. They came out of the locker room at halftime and played a much better second half.”

One of those seniors, attacker and reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Week Casey Bocklet, had another career day by scoring six goals, a career high, and assisting on another. Bocklet put up four goals and three assists last Sunday against Louisville.

After the teams exchanged goals to start the game, Virginia went on a 9-1 run to close the half. The run featured two stellar behind-the-back goals from Bocklet. After receiving the ball up high from senior defender Morgan Stephens, Bocklet did what she could with her stick in that position to score Virginia’s third goal of the game at the 16:10 mark.

“I’ve been practicing them more because sometimes it does make a lot of sense,” Bocklet said. “I had a bad angle, so I just kind of went for it.”

After Virginia Tech scored its first goal in nearly 22 minutes, Bocklet responded with her second behind-the-back goal to give Virginia a 10-2 lead at halftime.

Both of Bocklet’s behind-the-back goals came off Virginia Tech turnovers caused by junior defender Sarah Gillespie. In the half, the Hokies had a total of nine turnovers compared to the Cavaliers’ four. The Cavaliers also picked up 10 of 16 ground balls and outshot the Hokies 23-8 after winning all but two of 13 draw controls.

After a dominating first half, the Cavaliers were able to play seven substitutes in the second half and get their whole team into the game. The Hokies outscored them 8-7 in the period while also outshooting the Cavaliers 18-10 and winning 12 draw controls to Virginia’s four.

“We were able to play a lot of people,” Myers said. “We played people out of position. We let them shoot too many times. They take 18 shots, so they should be scoring a bunch of goals. It was nice for everyone to contribute and get some time on game day.”

The two teams combined for a total of five goals in the first five minutes of the second half, and nearly half of the 15 goals in the period came within a minute after a draw control. However, neither team would score for the next 10 minutes after a Bocklet score brought Virginia’s lead up to nine with 10:22 remaining. Virginia freshman goalie Rachel Vander Kolk saved all four of Virginia Tech’s shots in that span.

After picking up a ground ball with 4:35 remaining, the Cavaliers ran the clock down to 41 seconds before turning the ball over and allowing the Hokies to score with 16 seconds to go.

With 16 seconds left, the Hokies still had fight in them after not allowing Virginia to go up by 10 all game and allowing the clock to run during stoppages. They won the draw control and drew a foul to score their second free-position goal of the game with two seconds on the clock.

Virginia Tech senior attacker Cawley Bromley scored both of those last-minute goals to record a hat trick for the game. Senior attacker Megan Will led the Hokies in scoring with five goals and an assist.

In addition to Bocklet, Virginia was led by senior midfielder Courtney Swan, who provided four assists and two goals. Swan also won eight draw controls for the Cavaliers by holding her stick high and grabbing those draws that flew up. Senior attacker Liza Blue racked up four goals and an assist for Virginia.

“The emotions definitely hit me today,” Swan said. “Our first years decorated the locker room and seeing everything like that and then making a cute poem for the game and writing us special notes definitely hit me more, but I’m still so excited to play more games at Klöckner.”

The Cavaliers return to Klöckner to begin postseason play Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament held in Charlottesville.

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