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No. 3 Virginia beats No. 16 Richmond 14-10 on the road

Payton Cormier broke the program’s goal record as the Cavaliers continued their winning streak

<p>Cormier and teammates celebrate after a late goal.</p>

Cormier and teammates celebrate after a late goal.

Virginia men’s lacrosse made the in-state trip to Robins Stadium to take on Richmond in its second game of the season Saturday. The No. 3 Cavaliers fought for the win against a quality team in the No. 16 Spiders (1-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10), pulling away in the fourth quarter to win 14-10. The day was highlighted by graduate student attacker Payton Cormier breaking Virginia’s career goals record, previously held by Doug Knight, who tallied 165 goals in 60 games. Cormier now sits on top with 167 goals in just 57 games.

In the opening quarter, the Cavaliers struggled to generate offense while Richmond opened with two goals. However, freshman attacker McCabe Millon answered with back-to-back goals, evening the score. Soon after, sophomore defenseman John Schroter was called for a penalty, allowing the Spiders to score on a man-up opportunity. With two assists and his own goal, graduate student attacker Connor Shellenberger led the Virginia offense to three goals in a row, and the quarter ended with Virginia ahead 5-3.

Continuing the back-and-forth, the second quarter saw good defense and clearing on both sides. Both teams traded goals, ending the first half at 7-5. Notably, Cormier got his first goal of the game in this quarter.

The game got hot in the third quarter — right out of the gates, sophomore midfielder Joey Terenzi scored on a hidden ball play identical to a play associate head coach Kevin Cassese once used during his time in Major League Lacrosse. Things continued to remain tight, challenging the inexperienced Virginia defense, but a common theme in these first two games was junior goalie Matthew Nunes’s ability to bail out the defense. Nunes ended the day with 12 saves, including some that swayed the momentum of the game as a whole.

Despite Nunes’s performance, Richmond during one stretch in the third quarter produced four goals to the Cavaliers’ one, tying the game late in the quarter. Then graduate student midfielder Jack Boyden scored, pulling Virginia ahead 10-9 entering the fourth quarter. 

Any chance at the Spiders coming back in the fourth quarter disappeared, as they committed eight turnovers, including four failed clears. Other turnovers made by Richmond were caused by the Virginia defense, notably junior midfielder Noah Chizmar’s driving of a dodger into the crease and a good check from junior defender Ben Wayer. 

Cormier scored his second goal of the game in the fourth quarter, breaking the program record, and soon after he added another. Sophomore attacker Ryan Colsey scored another two, propelling the Cavaliers to an insurmountable advantage and the eventual victory.

The road win showcased Virginia’s offensive prowess and quelled any doubts regarding potential faceoff shortcomings. Coach Lars Tiffany was also especially proud of Nunes’s impressive goalkeeping that helped keep Virginia in the game.

“Man, did Matt Nunes make some huge saves,” Tiffany said. “Especially on [Richmond attacker] Dalton Young, right on the doorstep, and Dalton had thrown a couple fakes, and Matt stayed with him and got that stick to the offside. Amazing.”

Despite the impressive win on the road, Virginia’s schedule doesn’t get any easier, as the Cavaliers face Ohio State Sunday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium. The game will air at 1 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.

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