With a loss against No. 16 Notre Dame last Sunday, No. 13 women’s lacrosse was unable to prolong the momentum following their Feb. 27 rout of Stanford. In the early going of the 2022 season, the Cavaliers have been up and down in terms of collecting wins and losses.
However, despite the loss to the Fighting Irish, Virginia managed to get back on track on Wednesday with a commanding victory against Richmond. Going forward, the Cavaliers will be looking to create a winning streak ahead of the ACC tournament set to kick off in late April.
Virginia vs. Notre Dame
Coming off of a potential momentum-building win against Stanford, Virginia traveled to Notre Dame in a highly anticipated ACC showdown. After a slow start for the Cavaliers (3-4, 0-2 ACC), the Fighting Irish (2-4, 1-1 ACC) proved to be too much to overcome, losing 12-10.
In a game that featured two teams that have so far failed to meet preseason expectations, this game provided the opportunity for both programs to get back on track. For the Cavaliers especially, this was an opportunity to pick up back-to-back wins against a sub .500 opponent.
The Cavaliers got off to a slow start, which has become a common theme in their losses this year. The Fighting Irish came hot out of the gates, scoring three unanswered goals to open the game. Senior attack Ashley McGovern stopped the bleeding with a goal just before the end of the first quarter, but Virginia was down 3-1.
Virginia’s senior attacker Braeden Dial picked up right where the Cavalier offense left off, scoring the first goal of the second quarter. Unfortunately, Virginia could not capitalize on the swing, as Notre Dame rattled off another 3-0 to push the lead back to four.
With under two minutes to go before halftime, the situation appeared dire for Virginia. Needing a spark, sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Hoeg and freshman midfielder Rachel Clark netted a goal apiece to cut the lead in half right before the break.
After giving up 3-0 runs to start each of the first two quarters, the Cavaliers needed to come out of the gates hot and set the second half tone. However, Notre Dame’s offense had the same idea, coming out with yet another 3-0 run to start the third quarter.
The Cavaliers managed to respond with three goals of their own in the third quarter — all coming with less than four minutes in the frame — bringing the lead back down to two going into the fourth quarter.
Virginia just could not get anything going coming out of the breaks. Once again, Notre Dame struck first, scoring the first two goals of the fourth quarter. The lead grew to four and stayed that way until just over three minutes to go in the game. Virginia managed two garbage time goals, but it was too little too late.
Virginia vs. Richmond
On Wednesday, Virginia beat in-state foe Richmond 20-10 in their second win over a top 25 opponent this season. The Cavaliers (4-4, 0-2 ACC) had lost four of their last five games going into Wednesday and were coming off of a 12-10 defeat at Notre Dame this past Sunday. The Spiders (5-1, 0-0 A-10) were dealt their first loss at the hands of Virginia after a 5-0 start to their season.
Freshman midfielder Rachel Clark led all-scoring with five goals and an assist on her day. She continued her great start to the season, leading the Cavaliers with 27 goals. Junior midfielder Jaime Biskup added four goals to the point total for the Cavaliers.
The first quarter was very even to start the game. Junior midfielder Kiki Shaw opened the scoring for Virginia about three minutes into the game to give the Cavaliers the early advantage. Richmond was quick to respond with a goal from graduate student attack Nicole Concannon. Two unassisted goals from Biskup gave the Cavaliers a 3-2 lead going into the second quarter.
Senior midfielder Annie Dyson scored her first goal of the day to begin the second quarter. Freshman attack Colleen Quinn halved the Spider deficit just 19 seconds later on a goal assisted by Richmond’s leading scorer Junior midfielder Lindsey Frank.
After the goal, the Cavaliers went on a 7-1 run highlighted by three goals and an assist from Clark. The Charlottesville side led 11-4 with 5:09 left in the quarter before three quick goals from the Spiders lessened the lead to four. With 59 seconds left in the half, senior attack Ashlyn McGovern scored her 20th goal of the season. The Cavaliers led 12-7 going into the halftime break.
Both third and fourth quarters were all-Virginia after a dominant first half. Senior attack Braeden Dial scored her fifth goal of the season to begin the second half, followed by a goal by Clark to give Virginia a 14-7 lead. Senior midfielder Marina Miller got two back for Richmond. Those were their only two goals in the third quarter. The Cavaliers converted three more goals before the end of the quarter to lead 17-9 heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was more of the same for the Cavaliers. They outscored the Spiders 3-1 with a goal and assist from sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Hoeg. Richmond’s Miller finished off her second-half hat trick as the final goal of the game and Virginia took the game 20-10.
On Saturday, No. 3 Syracuse comes to Charlottesville in what will be one of the biggest tests of the season for the Cavaliers. The game will be played at Klockner Stadium at 12 p.m. and will air live on ACCNX.