Coming off of their first loss of the season this past Saturday, Virginia men’s lacrosse closed out a victory Wednesday against High Point, winning 12-11. The Cavaliers (4-1, 0-1 ACC) were throttled by Syracuse 20-10 in their last outing, and the team looked to build upon that loss. The Panthers (1-3, 0-0 SoCon) had lost back-to-back games against North Carolina, so each team was vying to get back into the win column. In another close contest, similar to last year’s 18-15 Virginia victory, the Cavaliers were able to prevail.
The opening frame was dominated by the Virginia offense. Six different Virginia players were able to get on the board, with freshman long-stick midfielder Ben Wayer netting his first career goal with just three seconds remaining in the period. The Cavaliers controlled a 6-1 advantage when the whistle blew, signaling the end of the quarter.
After the intermission, High Point’s offense fired back with a huge 5-0 run of their own. Similar to the Virginia opening quarter, the Panther’s offense saw five different goal scorers in their run to knot the game at six apiece.
Cavalier senior attackman Charlie Bertrand was then able to stop the bleeding with his 10th goal of the season. This goal extended his streak of scoring a goal in every single collegiate game he has played in, which currently stands at 63 — the longest current streak in the nation.
In another quarter-ending buzzer beater, sophomore attackman Xander Dickson was able to score a goal with just one second remaining in the half, sending both teams to the locker room with an 8-6 Virginia lead.
Coming out of halftime, senior attackman Matt Moore was able to notch two goals in the third quarter. Sophomore midfielder Peter Garno also added a goal, courtesy of an assist by Moore. Panther graduate midfielder Dalton Sulver was able to score in the period as well keeping things competitive at 11-7 headed into the final frame.
High Point and Virginia traded goals to begin the quarter, with Virginia senior attackman Ian Laviano scoring his first goal of the contest. Panther graduate midfielder Kevin Rogers, a transfer from Lynchburg, was able to net his 12th goal of the season, tying for the team lead.
Panther freshman attackman Brayden Mayea was able to add two more goals to the box score, with the latter coming via yet another buzzer beater with one second remaining in the game. This last-second goal made things seem a bit closer than the game truly was, as it brought the Panthers from a two-goal deficit to a 12-11 final score.
Virginia senior goalie Alex Rode was stellar in the contest, registering 17 saves on the afternoon, with 12 coming in the second half. Other Virginia specialists were able to help out as well, with junior midfielder Petey LaSalla going 11 out of 18 from the X and sophomore midfielder Gavin Tygh going 6 out of 7.
“I love the energy from the bench, and I loved how our guys got excited for a 3 p.m. start in the middle of the week,” Coach Lars Tiffany said. “Coming out of class at noon, 12:30 p.m., as a coach you get concerned — ‘are we ready to play?’”
Senior defender Kyle Kology also played a stellar game, holding High Point star senior attackman Asher Nolting to just one extra-man goal, where Kology was not guarding him. Kology also recorded a career-high five cause turnovers, all on the All-American Nolting.
“I just think that the five guys behind me executed the game plan so well,” Kology said. “If I stumbled and [Nolting] got around me in the slightest bit, I knew there was going to be someone there for me.”
After a rough team and individual outing against Syracuse, where Moore was held to zero goals and one assist, the senior was able to pace the team with three goals and two assists.
“That one stung, and I think this was a great opportunity to just put that behind us,” Moore said. “Obviously we learned from it, we watched the film and we took our medicine as Coach [Tiffany] would say, and I think this was a really good opportunity for us to just learn from that game, and I’m happy we came out with a win today.”
The Cavaliers look to build upon this win when Virginia returns to action this Saturday against Air Force. Faceoff at Klockner Stadium is set for 4 p.m. and the game will be televised on ACCNX.