Just one week removed from securing the ACC Championship, the third-seeded Virginia men’s lacrosse team defeated Robert Morris in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Saturday night. Fueled by several standout performances, the Cavaliers (14-3, 3-1 ACC) cruised to a 19-10 victory over the Colonials (9-7, 4-2 NEC) in their final game at Klöckner Stadium this season.
The Cavaliers scored first eight minutes into the game as sophomore attackman Matt Moore scored his 37th goal of the season. Junior attackman Michael Kraus, sophomore attackman Ian Laviano and senior attackman Mikey Herring each added goals themselves, giving Virginia four total goals in the first period.
Up 4-2 going into the second period, Kraus and Herring quickly scored a combined three goals in the first three minutes of the second quarter. The Cavaliers and the Colonials traded goals for the remainder of the half as Virginia held on to a 9-5 lead at halftime.
While they scored nine goals in the first 30 minutes, the Cavaliers had plenty of opportunities to extend their lead even further. Virginia fired 33 shots in the first two periods, forcing Robert Morris senior goalkeeper Alex Heger to make 10 saves in the first half alone.
Kraus was key for the Cavaliers in the first half, scoring a third of Virginia’s goals and serving two assists as well.
Virginia came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, using a 10-3 run to build a dominant lead. Junior midfielder Dox Aitken opened the scoring in the third quarter with his first goal of the game before Herring and senior midfielder Ryan Conrad scored the next seven goals for Virginia.
After another Aitken score at the 8:01 mark, Robert Morris tacked on two late goals to bring the final score to 19-10 in the Cavaliers’ favor.
Multiple Cavaliers had career nights as Virginia used an incredibly well-rounded effort to win its 49th NCAA Tournament game.
Herring and Conrad both recorded career highs in goals with six and five respectively, while Moore had a career-high seven assists. Kraus also contributed a sensational three-goal, three-assist performance.
With the win, Virginia advances to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and will face Maryland Saturday at noon in Hempstead, N.Y.