No. 9 men’s lacrosse pulls away in second half against No. 15 Johns Hopkins

The Cavaliers use 10 goals in the second half to surge past Johns Hopkins and take home the Doyle Smith Cup

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The Cavaliers have reclaimed the Doyle Smith Cup, a spoil that has been awarded to the regular season winner of the Virginia-Johns Hopkins series since 2006.  

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

After five consecutive games that came down to the wire, the No. 9 Virginia men’s lacrosse team won by its largest margin of victory this season, taking down No. 15 Johns Hopkins, 16-11. 

With the win, the Cavaliers (6-2, 2-0 ACC) have reclaimed the Doyle Smith Cup, a spoil that has been awarded to the regular season winner of the Virginia-Johns Hopkins series since 2006. 

After Johns Hopkins (4-4, 0-0 Big Ten) defeated Virginia in Charlottesville last year, the Cavaliers were able to avenge the loss with a convincing performance at Homewood Field Saturday.  

Virginia jumped out to an early 2-0 lead courtesy of freshman midfielder Petey LaSalla and sophomore attackman Matt Moore. LaSalla started off the game with a scoop-and-score after just seven seconds, converting a faceoff win into an unassisted goal. Moore followed up with another, notching his 15th goal of the year.

Before the Cavaliers could add any more goals, the Blue Jays responded with a 3-0 run and stormed back into the lead.

The two teams proceeded to trade goals back and forth as the first half ended with the score tied at 6-6.

The Cavaliers kicked off the second half with a goal from sophomore attackman Ian Laviano after just over a minute of play. The Blue Jays answered with a pair of goals before Virginia rattled off a 3-0 run to take a 10-8 lead — a lead they would not give up for the rest of the game. 

While Johns Hopkins fought valiantly, a 4-0 run spanning the third and fourth periods extended Virginia’s lead to 14-9. 

The teams traded two goals each in the last 9:51 with the Cavaliers hanging onto the lead to win 16-11, marking its 32nd win against the Blue Jays all-time and its 10th time lifting the Doyle Smith Cup.

"This is a group that truly believes in each other,” Coach Lars Tiffany said. “The fact we are coming out of the halftime locker room playing our best lacrosse is a reflection of our conditioning. We have really tried to focus on training with purpose.”

The Cavaliers were led by a well-balanced offense with six different players scoring at least two goals. Junior midfielder Dox Aitken, junior attackman Michael Kraus and Moore each contributed three goals, while Laviano and senior midfielder Ryan Conrad both had a pair of goals and an assist. 

On the other side, Johns Hopkins was paced by freshman attackman Joey Epstein who provided nearly half of the Blue Jays’ 11 goals. Senior attackman Kyle Marr and freshman midfielder Evan Zinn who notched two goals each.

The Cavaliers’ victory gives them a five-game winning streak –– another accomplishment to add to their 2019 resume.  

Virginia returns to action Friday when they host Richmond at Klöckner Stadium. Face-off is set for 7 p.m.

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