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No. 3 Virginia beats No. 20 Ohio State, continuing winning streak

A dominant first half carried Virginia through a closer second half in which the Buckeyes outscored the Cavaliers

<p>A group of Cavaliers celebrates after a goal.</p>

A group of Cavaliers celebrates after a goal.

Virginia men’s lacrosse faced Ohio State Sunday afternoon in a game that ended up being a tale of two halves. The No. 3 Cavaliers (3-0, 0-0 ACC) used a blistering start to take a 10-3 lead into halftime, but the No. 20 Buckeyes (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten) recovered for a more competitive second half. The Cavaliers, though, maintained a buffer that never shrank to less than five goals and emerged with a 14-8 win.

To start the game, graduate attackman Connor Shellenberger fired off a shot, scoring the game’s first goal after just over two minutes. Four minutes later, junior midfielder Will Inderlied scored Virginia’s second goal. Graduate midfielder Jack Boyden and senior midfielder Patrick McIntosh also both found the net, scoring one goal apiece.

Later in the first quarter, the defense produced a turnover, and graduate attackman Payton Cormier collected the ball and scored. After a key save from junior goalie Matthew Nunes during man-down defense, freshman attackman McCabe Millon scored his first goal of the game and his eighth of the season.

On defense, a loose ball push allowed Ohio State to take advantage of an out-of-position defense, scoring their second goal of the quarter. That play ended the first quarter at 6-3, the Cavaliers in the lead.

The second quarter had good defense on both sides, each team creating turnovers and going back and forth, until Millon scored again off an assist from Cormier. Less than 10 seconds later, sophomore midfielder Joey Terenzi also scored his own goal.

Sophomore attackman Ryan Colsey scored, getting his first of the game with the help of Millon. Millon continued to feed the ball from behind the goal, allowing Cormier to score late in the second quarter. The half ended at 10-3 with the Cavaliers in the lead, and Millon was proud of the offense’s start to the half.

“I’d say a big key was just coming out hot,” Millon said. “We really wanted to make a statement early … We were able to ride that momentum in the first quarter.”

Early in the third quarter, Buckeye freshman goalie Caleb Fyock made a save that turned into a transition opportunity, allowing Ohio State to score from the created turnover. However, Colsey answered with his second goal of the game, assisted by Shellenberger.

While defending, senior defenseman Cole Kastner drew a penalty, forcing Virginia into a man-down situation. Another penalty came the Cavaliers’ way from junior defenseman Ben Wayer, putting the team down two men. Ohio State then scored, getting their fifth goal of the game. In the middle of the quarter, the Virginia defense continued to struggle, allowing the Buckeyes to score again. 

Later in the third quarter, Nunes made a key save on an Ohio State breakaway, clearing the ball the other way, aiming for a Cavalier breakaway. However, nothing materialized from the throw, and the game slowed back down. Both defenses held until the end of the quarter, with the Cavaliers maintaining their lead 11-6.

At the start of the fourth quarter, junior midfielder Griffin Schutz made a diving shot, scoring his second goal of the season and the quarter’s first. Ohio State responded with their seventh goal, but Shellenberger followed up for Virginia halfway into the fourth quarter. Millon scored his third goal of the day late in the final quarter to end the game at 14-8.

The two halves were very different games. The Cavaliers dominated the first half and were able to push transitions, but Ohio State seemingly made the right halftime adjustments in order to expose Virginia’s offense and defense. 

“We came out with the tenacity that we demand of our men,” Coach Lars Tiffany said. “That first half is exactly what U.Va. men’s lacrosse is all about. We were all over the ground balls. In the transition game, we were physical … Give Ohio State credit. They owned that second half in terms of the tempo and what they wanted.”

It also seems as though Virginia has begun to figure out the faceoff problem created by Petey LaSalla’s graduation. The Cavaliers have shifted tactics slightly, using strong wing play to help gain possession. 

“[The] last couple of years we had such a veteran lineup. It felt like we have this incredibly strong chain,” Tiffany said. “[This year] the links individually aren’t as strong, but there’s a lot. There’s a lot of replacement parts that are just as good.”

Virginia will look to continue its unbeaten run Saturday against No. 7 Johns Hopkins. Opening faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium, and the game will air on ACC Network.


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