No. 1 men’s lacrosse further solidified their case as the best team in the nation with a commanding 25-8 victory over Richmond Saturday in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers (4-0, 0-0 ACC) were looking for revenge from last year’s 17-13 loss to the Spiders (3-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10), their only loss in the series between the two schools. Virginia has now won 12 consecutive games at Klöckner Stadium, and have scored at least 17 goals in all four games so far.
Graduate student midfielder and faceoff specialist Petey LaSalla played a massive role in the Cavaliers’ victory Saturday, winning 19 of 26 faceoff attempts. LaSalla’s efforts allowed the multitude of Virginia’s offensive threats to go to work.
Coach Lars Tiffany took notice of LaSalla’s contributions to the offense, despite not registering a goal.
“What I’m really happy with is the unselfishness,” Tiffany said. “Petey always wants to go forward because he wants to score. He’s got six goals in the first three games, but the way the faceoff men of Richmond were countering him, it allowed Petey to go backwards. For Petey to sacrifice that is a major step forward.”
Redshirt senior attacker Xander Dickson led the Cavaliers with six goals. Senior attacker Payton Cormier, junior attacker Patrick McIntosh and graduate student midfielder Thomas McConvey each had three of their own, and the Spiders seemingly had no answer for the onslaught of goals.
Virginia continued its trend of starting fast on offense, as they scored the first eight goals of the game. The Spiders were able to slightly close the gap, scoring the last three goals of the first period, including one with a second left on the clock to end the first quarter 8-3.
After going on to score the first goal of the second quarter on a man-up opportunity, it looked as if Richmond was picking up some momentum. However, the Cavaliers quickly put any thought of a Spider comeback to rest, scoring another eight goals in a row to go into the locker room with a comfortable 16-4 lead.
Virginia quickly denied any chance of a comeback out of the locker room, as the Cavaliers scored four of the first five goals in the third quarter to take a 20-5 advantage. Dickson would finish off a spectacular day with the final two goals of that run, bringing his season total to 15 on the season.
Richmond would not get any closer, as Virginia cruised through the second half to remain undefeated on the season. Sophomore goalie Matthew Nunes was credited with the win, and finished the day with nine saves and only six goals allowed.
Senior goalie David Roselle came in during the fourth quarter to finish the day and recorded one save. Additionally, senior attacker Will Cory, redshirt freshman midfielder Will Inderlied and redshirt freshman attacker Tucker Mullen were all able to score their first goals of the season in the fourth quarter.
When watching Virginia, the defensive improvements over the last two games have been key to the Cavaliers’ success. Despite getting out to a similar lead as the game against Harvard, Virginia did not let the opponent creep back in. Instead, the team was able to completely shut down Richmond for the entire game, showing a four-quarter performance the Cavaliers will need further down the line. Particularly against Notre Dame — who is second in the country only to the Cavaliers in goals per game — the defense will need to hold up in order to win.
Up next, the Cavaliers will visit No. 15 Johns Hopkins in the battle for the Doyle Smith Cup Tuesday. That game is scheduled to begin from Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md. at 4 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.