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Virginia’s high-powered offense overwhelms Pittsburgh in 19-10 victory

The Panthers were no match for the onslaught provided by the Cavaliers’ attack

<p>The Cavaliers pushed their winning streak to five games Saturday, scoring 18 or more goals for the fourth time in that span.&nbsp;</p>

The Cavaliers pushed their winning streak to five games Saturday, scoring 18 or more goals for the fourth time in that span. 

Virginia women’s lacrosse faced Pittsburgh in an ACC clash on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon in Klöckner Stadium. Coming off the heels of a tightly contested game against No. 8 Notre Dame, the No. 10 Cavaliers (8-1, 3-1 ACC) were looking to continue their strong ACC campaign in their clash with the Panthers (2-7, 0-4 ACC). The hosts did just that, as the attacking power of Virginia was enough to sufficiently overwhelm Pittsburgh by the third period, with the Cavaliers taking home a 19-10 conference win. 

Virginia jumped ahead quickly, scoring a goal just two minutes into the game after graduate attacker Katia Carnevale capitalized on an assist from senior attacker Morgan Schwab. In the next two minutes, the Cavaliers would find the net twice more, putting them up 3-0 with 12 minutes left in the first period. Pittsburgh only tallied two goals in the period — both coming from free position shots — while Virginia would bring their total to seven by the time the clock hit zero, ending the first period in a score of 7-2. Carnevale collected another goal and an assist while Schwab and freshman attacker Madison Alaimo both put points on the board for the Cavaliers. 

The Panthers opened the second quarter scoring but were unable to build momentum after the goal, as they were held scoreless for the next ten minutes of action. Virginia, on the other hand, scored three goals during this passage, coming courtesy of graduate midfielder Kiki Shaw, Carnevale and junior attacker Kate Miller. Another goal for the Cavaliers and one for Pittsburgh would bring the score to 11-4 in favor of Virginia headed into the half. 

The second half continued to see Carnevale put on a show, scoring another goal 30 seconds into play. The offense wouldn’t stop there, as Virginia scored another six goals in the third period alone, one more coming from Carnavale as well as contributions from Schwab, freshman attacker Jenna Dinardo and senior midfielder Mackenzie Hoeg. The Panthers would capitalize on some opportunities at the net as well, with three goals coming from junior attacker Sydney Naylor. The period ended in a score of 18-7, with Virginia firmly in control of the game headed into the final period. 

Pittsburgh struck twice within the opening six minutes of the fourth quarter, looking to make one last-ditch effort at a comeback. However, it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the deficit, as a goal from freshman midfielder Kate Galica with five and a half minutes remaining put the nail in the coffin. The game ended in a score of 19-10 in favor of the Cavaliers.

The strong offensive performance from Virginia bodes well for the rest of ACC play as the Cavaliers continue on in their impressive season. Coach Sonia LaMonica emphasized the impressive offensive performance and overall team effort after the game.

“We showed a lot of great effort,” LaMonica said. “I did think there was a period where we came out of the gates really strong, and we found some early goals. Then, I thought we did get a little casual and a little undisciplined. What I love is how we responded. The team stepped up and they locked it back in. And that was awesome and beautiful to see.”

LaMonica also highlighted Virginia’s two key performers in the contest, Carnevale, who registered six goals and an assist on the day, and Schwab, who added a hat-trick in both goals and assists.

“We had some amazing performances,” LaMonica said. “Katia with six and one, Morgan continued with her strong play, and our defensive effort was solid. Overall, another great day to be a Hoo.”

The Cavaliers will look to extend their five-game winning streak Wednesday when they take on James Madison in an in-state affair. The game will be played at Klöckner Stadium and is set to start at 5 p.m. with a broadcast on ACCN. 

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