No. 7 men’s lacrosse extends win streak to seven with dominant wins over Richmond and Utah

The Cavaliers cruise past Spiders and Utes in weekend doubleheader at home

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Junior attackman Michael Kraus scored his 100th career goal against Utah Sunday. 

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

With its first five-game winning streak since 2014 in tow, the No. 7 Virginia men’s lacrosse team hosted Richmond and Utah this weekend at Klöckner Stadium.

The Cavaliers (8-2, 2-0 ACC) kicked off the weekend Friday with a convincing win over the Spiders (6-4, 3-0 SoCon) before defeating the Utes (4-7, 0-0 Pac-12) easily Sunday.

Against Richmond, Virginia jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before Richmond senior attackman Teddy Hatfield cut the deficit to one. Before the Spiders could tie the game, the home team rattled off a 4-0 run with four different Cavaliers scoring a goal during the stretch.

Hatfield scored his second with just over three minutes remaining in the first half to end Virginia’s run, but the relentless Cavaliers scored two more before halftime to extend their lead to 8-2.

Richmond and Virginia traded blows early in the second half, but a 6-1 Cavalier run spanning the third and fourth quarters pushed the Virginia lead to 11 with 4:50 left in the game.

The Spiders pulled two back late courtesy of sophomore midfielder Mitch Savoca and senior midfielder Nick D’Amaro. However, with no goals scored in the final two minutes, the Cavaliers cruised to a 16-7 victory, marking their sixth consecutive win in 2019. 

“Our whole staff is really excited about the energy that we brought to this game,” Coach Lars Tiffany said. “Richmond is an opponent that has given us great challenges in the past, and we respect them and I’m really happy with how we rode today.”

Sophomore attackman Ian Laviano was Virginia’s top goalscorer with three goals as well as a pair of assists, while junior attackman Michael Kraus and sophomore attackman Matt Moore combined for four goals and seven assists. 

With the win, Virginia remains undefeated against Richmond with an all-time record of 6-0. 

Just two days later, the Cavaliers faced first-year program Utah in their fastest turnaround this season. 

Virginia came out firing on all cylinders against Utah with a 6-0 run in the first 11 minutes. The Cavaliers scored three more in the second period to take a 9-0 lead.

Utah scored its first goal of the game with junior attackman Jimmy Perkins — second on the team in goals — notching his 12th of the year. The first half ended with a 4-1 Virginia run capped off by senior midfielder Ryan Conrad scoring a long-distance goal with 0:01 left on the clock.

No team scored in the first 7:24 of the second half as the scoreline held steady at 13-2. However, Virginia scored four in a row before the third period ended to extend the Cavaliers’ lead to 15. 

With the game all but over, Virginia was held scoreless in the final quarter as Utah added four straight goals to make the score 17-6. 

"I'm grateful that our men are excited to play any chance they get,” Tiffany said. “The game today, just after beating Richmond, we came out excited and full of energy so I'm just really grateful. It's wonderful to be a part of this program. I feel very fortunate.”

Laviano, Moore and Kraus once again led Virginia on offense, combining for 10 goals and three assists. The latter scored his 100th career goal in the first period, becoming just the 16th Cavalier and the third-fastest to the reach the milestone. 

After securing the 2-0 weekend, Virginia has now won seven games in a row — the program’s longest winning streak since 2012. 

All weekend, Virginia was able to rely on strong goalscoring. 

The Cavaliers scored a total of 33 goals over the two matches including a season-high 17 against Utah and 16 against Richmond which ties their second-highest total. Virginia also caused 11 more turnovers than its opponents as the Cavaliers’ riding clearly made the Spiders and the Utes uncomfortable.

“I think it comes down to just really embracing this challenge,” Laviano said after the game against Richmond. “All week in practice, we were just focusing on ourselves, and I think that’s what we did. We just played our game and they couldn’t stop it.”

While several Cavaliers performed well, LaSalla specifically had a tremendous weekend at the faceoff X, winning 28 out of 36. 

“Petey LaSalla was continually giving us the ball and creating some offense out of it as well,” Tiffany said after LaSalla won nearly 80 percent of his faceoffs against Richmond Friday.

Virginia returns to action against North Carolina Saturday at Klöckner Stadium for an ACC showdown. Faceoff is slated for 1 p.m.

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