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No. 4 Virginia beats No. 5 Maryland 14-10 in rivalry game on the road

Griffin Schutz and McCabe Millon stepped up in big ways to help the Cavaliers earn the win

<p>Graduate attackman Payton Cormier scored the Cavaliers' final goal of the game Saturday, sealing a signature road win for the program</p>

Graduate attackman Payton Cormier scored the Cavaliers' final goal of the game Saturday, sealing a signature road win for the program

Virginia marched into College Park Saturday and defeated Maryland 14-10, ending the Terrapins’ (5-2, 0-0 Big Ten) three-game winning streak against the Cavaliers (6-1, 0-0 ACC) in the decades-old rivalry and avenging last season’s crushing overtime loss. Coach Lars Tiffany’s comments postgame captured the energy and hustle that both teams brought with them Saturday.

“Does it feel like playoff lacrosse?” Tiffany said. “Just an intense crowd, two great teams getting after it.”

Despite Virginia winning the opening faceoff, Maryland scored first after just two minutes. After the teams traded clears, the Terrapins committed a push-in-the-back penalty, allowing sophomore attackman Ryan Colsey to tie the game at 1-1. A Virginia turnover handed the ball back to Maryland, who regained the lead once more.

Off a good pass from graduate attackman Connor Shellenberger, junior midfielder Griffin Schutz scored his first goal of the day. Barely 30 seconds later, a shot from sophomore midfielder Joey Terenzi bounced off the goal post and landed in junior midfielder Anthony Ghobriel’s stick. He immediately shot and scored his first goal of the season.

Toward the end of the first quarter, Schutz charged for the cage, scoring a wide shot while on the run. The goal put the Cavaliers up 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.

Virginia opened up the second quarter hot, Shellenberger scoring in the first minute off an assist from junior defenseman Ben Wayer. Schutz ended a six-minute scoring drought with an impressive back-handed shot that landed in the corner of the net.

The Terrapins immediately responded, pushing their faceoff win and scoring. Maryland continued with their momentum, closing the Cavaliers’ lead to just one goal toward the end of the half. However, a transition goal from Millon closed the half at 7-5 with Virginia ahead.

Opening with a Schutz goal, the third quarter saw lots of back and forth, both teams displaying good defense and clears. Tiffany highlighted Virginia’s defensive performance after the game — the Cavaliers caused 12 turnovers against the Terrapins.

“Our team defense made a one-game statement,” Tiffany said. “So it's not a season statement. We made a one-game statement.”

Graduate midfielder Jack Boyden also managed to find the net in the third quarter. The teams traded goals back and forth, but it was Millon and Shellenberger’s back-to-back goals that put the Cavaliers up in the third quarter, which ended at 11-7.

Graduate midfielder Chase Yager scored early in the fourth quarter while surrounded by defenders, adding to Virginia’s goal streak. Soon after, Maryland responded with its own goal streak, matching Virginia’s three and bringing the score to 12-10. More back and forth ensued, Virginia trying to stay ahead and Maryland sitting so close to tying. 

Millon scored once more, notching his 21st goal of the season. Then graduate attackman Payton Cormier added one more goal, bringing the score to 14-10, and the scoreboard never changed after that. 

Overall, Virginia performed well, winning the ground balls 37-25. Junior goalie Matthew Nunes made 11 saves. Faceoffs continue to be an issue — Maryland won the battle at the dot 16-12. Despite certain shortcomings, Virginia is in a strong position moving forward, having beaten a top-five team despite not yet reaching its ceiling in terms of potential. It will take the coaching staff’s leadership to forge a championship-level team — something that the team is certainly capable of. Tiffany understands this vision.

“We were fortunate to come out ahead this time,” Tiffany said. “And to have a couple [failed clears] in that first quarter was discombobulating, but Matt [Nunes] kept the Terrapins to two goals in that first quarter when they could have gotten [more].”

The Cavaliers will next play Albany Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ACCNX.

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