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No. 15 women’s lacrosse bounces back in dominant fashion against Cornell

The neutral site game at US Lacrosse Headquarters was a blowout win for the Cavaliers

<p>Freshman attacker Madison Alaimo recorded four goals Sunday in the Cavaliers' thrashing of Cornell.</p>

Freshman attacker Madison Alaimo recorded four goals Sunday in the Cavaliers' thrashing of Cornell.

The fifth game for Virginia women’s lacrosse ended in dominant fashion against Cornell, as the No. 15 Cavaliers (4-1, 0-1 ACC) defeated the Big Red (2-1, 0-0 Ivy League) 20-11 Sunday afternoon. Virginia held down the gas pedal offensively all game, earning them a much deserved bounce-back win after Friday’s overtime defeat to North Carolina.

Cornell got out to a hot start in the first period of play, with junior midfielder Kylie Gelabert finding senior attacker Maggie Pons twice in a row to put the Big Red up 2-0. The Cavaliers would respond in a flash though, scoring four straight goals in a span of just two minutes, via four different goal scorers — graduate attacker Katia Carnevale, freshman attacker Madison Alaimo, senior midfielder Mackenzie Hoeg and junior attacker Kate Miller.

After Cornell scored two more goals to equalize the score, graduate midfielder Kiki Shaw would score unassisted with just 30 seconds left in the first quarter to give Virginia a 5-4 lead heading into the second. From there, it was smooth sailing for the Cavaliers.

Just 27 seconds into the second quarter, senior attacker Morgan Schwab found Carnevale for another Virginia goal, the start of a 5-1 run which saw another goal from Carnevale, two from Alaimo — which completed a hat trick — and one from freshman attacker Jenna Dinardo. The Cavalier freshman made her mark for Virginia this quarter and extended the Cavaliers’ lead, an advantage that Cornell was never able to overcome.

The Big Red would finally get one back with a few minutes left in the quarter thanks to freshman midfielder Ellie Bergin’s first goal of the season, but Virginia would strike back once again with superior firepower. Hoeg would start a 4-2 Cavaliers run after she was assisted by Carnevale. During this span, Miller and Carnevale completed their first-half hat tricks and Schwab notched her fifth assist. At the halfway point, Virginia was leading 14-8 and in complete control.

The third quarter contained much of the same, as the Cavaliers dominated the period by a score of 5-1. Hoeg racked up an impressive three points during the third, with two goals and an assist. Schwab, Alaimo and Dinardo also added to their total. Cornell’s only answer was a free position goal with less than two minutes left in the quarter, but the damage was already done. Virginia was now leading 19-9 and any hopes for a Big Red comeback were gone.

In the last quarter of action, the scoring settled down from previous quarters, with the Cavaliers only scoring once, courtesy of freshman midfielder Kate Galica — assisted again by Schwab, her sixth of the day. Cornell’s junior midfielder Alexa Donahoe scored her first of the season and junior attacker Josie Vogel scored from a free-position, which marked the last goal of the game and set the final score at 20-11 in favor of Virginia. 

The nine-goal victory by the Cavaliers was well-deserved, as they showcased an impressive level of offensive firepower and versatility. Four different players put up three goals each, and Schwab’s six assists were a season-high. She is now closing in on second place in the Cavaliers’ history books for career assists. 

Dinardo and Alaimo also shined brightly in the contest, both recording four points. The freshmen attackers have filled in big shoes this season and will be vital to Virginia’s success going forward, especially with some tough ACC opponents coming up in the schedule.

The Big Red performed well enough offensively — Pons and Vogel both had great games on the attacking side with three points each — but didn’t have an answer on the defensive end. The Cavaliers were allowed 40 shots compared to Cornell’s 22. The Big Red also committed more fouls and turnovers than Virginia, making a potential second half comeback out of range.

Coach Sonia LaMonica noted her team’s hard work to overcome an early 2-0 deficit, emphasizing that the Cavaliers just needed to get their feet under them.

“I think Cornell came out firing, and we expected them to do that,” LaMonica said. “I think we just settled in, we stayed the course, we competed hard at the draws.”

After a nail-biting loss at Klöckner Stadium Friday, a nine-goal thrashing was a great way for Virginia to rebound. The Cavaliers will resume action at No. 19 Clemson Saturday in an exciting ACC matchup that will begin at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ACCNX. 


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