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No. 6 men’s lacrosse drops highly-anticipated season opener at No. 4 Loyola

Strong defensive performance helps the Greyhounds pull away from the Cavaliers

<p>Junior midfielder Dox Aitken scored three goals for Virginia in the loss to Loyola.&nbsp;</p>

Junior midfielder Dox Aitken scored three goals for Virginia in the loss to Loyola. 

After losing to No. 4 Loyola in the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament, the No. 6 Virginia men’s lacrosse team travelled to Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore Saturday, hoping to exact revenge in the first game of the season. 

However, Loyola (1-0, 0-0 PL) used tough defense and efficient offense to overpower Virginia (0-1, 0-0 ACC) as the Cavaliers suffered a 17-9 non-conference loss. 

While Virginia was on the board first, courtesy of junior midfielder Dox Aitken, Loyola responded with three consecutive goals to take the lead –– one the home team would not surrender for the rest of the game. 

Even though the Greyhounds outshot Virginia 15-6 in the first quarter, the Cavaliers were able to cut the Loyola lead to just two after Aitken scored his second goal as time expired to make it 5-3. 

Virginia was able to create more opportunities in the second quarter with 13 shots but only put one in the back of the net. Loyola senior goalkeeper Jacob Stover’s six second-quarter saves helped the Greyhounds take an 8-4 lead going into halftime. 

Loyola opened the scoring in the second half with back-to-back goals from senior attackman Pat Spencer, who led all players with seven points in the game. The two teams went back-and-forth for the next few minutes before a 3-0 Loyola run across the third and fourth quarters extended the team’s lead to seven.

Loyola sophomore attackman Kevin Lindley provided the game’s final goal –– his fifth of the game –– with just over four minutes left to make the final score 17-9. The Cavaliers outshot the Greyhounds 26-16 in the second half but Loyola outscored Virginia 9-5.

Aitken and sophomore midfielder Matt Moore led the Cavaliers with three goals each, while junior attackman Michael Kraus, sophomore attackman Ian Laviano and senior midfielder Ryan Conrad each added one. Kraus also led Virginia with three assists.

For Loyola, Spencer and Lindley combined for 10 goals, and Stover anchored the defense with 18 saves.

The Cavaliers will return to action Feb 16. against No. 13 Lehigh at Klockner Stadium as they look to secure their first win of the season. 


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