Men’s lacrosse suffers overtime loss to No. 3 Notre Dame
Virginia falls to ACC rival after lengthy delay
The No. 13 Virginia men’s lacrosse team fell to No. 3 Notre Dame Saturday in what turned out to be an eventful evening at Klöckner Stadium.
The Cavaliers (5-3, 0-2 ACC) lost 11-10 to the Fighting Irish (4-1, 1-0 ACC) in a game that lasted longer than usual due to a lightning delay causing a stoppage in play for over an hour towards the end of the first quarter.
However, freshman goalie Griffin Thompson — who made his first start last night — refused to let the rain delay serve as an excuse.
“I think it was kind of expected going in. We knew there was bad weather and we prepared for being able to go out strong afterwards,” Thompson said.
At the end of the first quarter, the two teams were tied 2-2, and the game looked like it was headed for a defensive battle. However, Notre Dame caught fire and rattled off a 5-1 run to take a commanding 7-3 lead. In response, Virginia scored a goal before the half to make it 7-4.
“That first half was a bit of a struggle,” coach Lars Tiffany said. “What I really saw in that second quarter was them breaking down our team defense and our freshman goalie struggling in that second quarter, so that’s how that score kept ticking up against us, 7-3.”
However, Virginia stepped up its play in the second half and went on a 5-1 run of their own to take a 9-8 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Notre Dame would tie things up 10-10 at the end of regulation, letting the game go on to overtime. They were able to pull out the victory thanks to sophomore attackman Ryder Garnsey scoring the game-winning goal.
Virginia, a team that usually scores a lot of goals due to their high, up-tempo offense, was limited to 10 goals by the Fighting Irish, and part of that was due to Notre Dame’s strong defense.
“You know they were really good on defense and we struggled in the beginning, but we really came back positively in the second half,” Thompson said. “But I think it’s just a testament to their strength on the defense.”
Even with Notre Dame’s superb defensive showing, Virginia freshman attackman Michael Kraus had a great day, scoring a career-high five goals.
Despite the loss, Virginia was able to compete with and almost beat one of the best teams in the country. Thompson understands the positives of the match despite the loss.
“It definitely gives us a lot of heart going forward,” Thompson said. “I think a lot of guys realized today that we can run with everyone and I think it was just a great start to the season.”
Senior defender Tanner Scales spoke about the confidence Virginia has in not only its ability to play, but also to improve.
“There’s been no doubt in our locker room that we can play with everyone,” Scales said. “And I think, you know, we talk about it all the time — it doesn’t really matter about the score … It’s all about just getting better, and I think you’re starting to see that with our defense.”
He added that the Cavaliers will now turn to the film room to see how they can correct some of the mistakes that they made Saturday.
“You know there’s places all over the field that we can correct, but we’re going to go watch the film and then we’ll take care of that,” Scales said.
Despite the weather delay and pouring rain, Virginia fans showed up in numbers.
“It was awesome,” Thompson said. “It was great to see all the support, you know, everybody definitely kept us up — kept us alive — and it was great.”
“I’m really, really impressed when I looked over in here and saw the masses of people,” Tiffany said. “Really, really thankful for the crowd and the student body for coming back and for supporting us.”
Virginia will now head on the road as they take on Johns Hopkins Saturday in Baltimore, Md. at 1 p.m.