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No. 8 women’s lacrosse dismantles George Mason 18-7

The two teams went back and forth early before the Cavaliers pulled away

<p>In the first half, the Cavaliers went on a game-deciding 8-1 scoring run, with freshman attack Morgan Schwab scoring two —&nbsp;her third and fourth goals of the season.</p>

In the first half, the Cavaliers went on a game-deciding 8-1 scoring run, with freshman attack Morgan Schwab scoring two — her third and fourth goals of the season.

Four days after a nail-biting victory over Louisville, No. 8 Virginia returned home to take on George Mason. The Cavaliers (5-0, 2-0 ACC) took care of the Patriots (1-4, 0-0 A-10) in dominant fashion to continue their undefeated start to the season.

With leading goal scorer junior attacker Ashley McGovern out against the Patriots, Virginia needed players to step up on offense. The Cavaliers did just that, receiving goal contributions from nine different scorers for 18 total goals. 

For the fourth time this season, junior midfielder Annie Dyson opened the scoring, netting her ninth goal of the season after being fed by freshman midfielder Mackenzie Hoeg. However, the Virginia offense would suffer from an early cold spell, allowing George Mason to get on the board.

Sophomore attacker Chloe Reed and junior attacker Deanna Balsama would score two consecutive goals for the Patriots, to give them an early 2-1 lead. 6:39 after the opening Dyson goal, freshman attacker Morgan Scwab scored her second goal of the year to tie the game up.

Virginia’s senior attacker Taylor Regan and George Mason’s senior midfielder Erin Donoghue would exchange goals over the next two minutes to bring the score to 3-3. 

Struggling early against a shaky George Mason squad, the Cavaliers kicked their offense into high year and pressed the attack. Over the next 16 minutes of first half play, the Cavaliers went on a game-deciding 8-1 scoring run that essentially put the game out of reach.

Five different Cavaliers scored on the run, including Schwab, who scored her third and fourth goals of the season to complete the hat trick. Hoeg and junior attacker Lillie Kloak both scored their first and second goals of the game on the run, bringing their yearly goal counts to seven and eight, respectively.

Donoghue would halt the run for the Patriots, finding the back of the net with 44 seconds to cut the lead to six going into the halftime break. 

Virginia dominated nearly every statistical category in the first half. The Cavaliers outshot the Patriots 22-9, putting the ball on net and giving themselves opportunities to suppress the Patriots defense. The Cavaliers ride also proved effective in the first half, causing 11 turnovers, while only having three of their own.

Despite the game essentially secured for the Cavaliers, Coach Julie Myers and her squad came out of halftime with the same energy they displayed to close the first half. Virginia opened the half with a 4-0 scoring run, with Kloak, Regan, senior midfielder Chloe Jones and senior attack Olivia Schildmeyer contributing to the scoring. 

Mason would respond with two goals over the next 12 minutes of play, but it proved to be too little too late for the Patriots, and the Cavaliers walked away with an emphatic 18-7 victory.

The Cavaliers will face their biggest test against ACC foe Boston College on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network.