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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The No. 4 Virginia women’s lacrosse team came out firing in the second half to overcome an even 6-6 halftime score and upset the No. 3 Syracuse Orange 14-11 Friday night in the Carrier Dome. The win keeps the Cavaliers undefeated this season at 4-0, while the loss was the first for Syracuse this year, dropping the Orange to 3-1.

Senior All-Americans Ashley McCulloch and Jenny Hauser led the attack, with McCulloch dishing out a career-high five assists to go with two goals and Hauser notching four goals and two assists for a career-high six points. Junior Whitaker Hagerman proved an offensive threat as well, as she fired five goals and tallied an assist, tying a personal-best.

“We’re really excited that our players came out and battled today”, head coach Julie Myers said. “I think our defenders did a great job in really stepping up and limiting some of Syracuse’s offensive power early in the game and our attackers were able to take over from there. At both ends of the field, everybody did their job really well. It was a hard fought game and I’m really proud of our effort.”

Junior Brittany Kalkstein jump-started the Cavaliers’ offense throughout the game, winning a career-high eight draw controls to move into third on the program’s all-time career draw control records. Early in the opening half, Kalkstein won three-straight draws in which Hauser was able to converted into goals for the Cavaliers, giving Virginia an early 4-2 advantage at 20:31.

“Britt did such a great job at winning so many draw controls and getting the ball into our offensive end that our attack able to take over from there,” Myers said.

The Orange eventually evened the score at four all, their first goal coming on a fast break transition in which Syracuse’s goalie Liz Hogan heaved a pass down field to Halley Quillinan who went one-on-one with junior goalkeeper Lauren Benner, and fired a shot into the back of the net. The Orange then evened the score by winning the next draw and getting the ball to Katie Rowan who tallied a goal, before Christina Dove gave Syracuse it’s first lead at 13:10, with a score.

McCulloch notched her second of the day at 9:12, before Hagerman put Virginia up, 6-5, at 2:05. Rowan evened the score a minute later, allowing the two teams to take an even 6-6 score into halftime.

The Cavaliers scored the first four goals out of the intermission to take a commanding 10-6 lead by 17:17. Senior All-American Blair Weymouth sparked the run and redshirt junior Whitaker Hagerman made it two-straight, scoring on an open net after Syracuse committed a turnover in their defensive end. Hauser scored her fourth goal of the afternoon at 18:41 and Weymouth capped the run at 17:17, scoring off an assist from McCulloch.

Syracuse responded with three of the next four goals, cutting Virginia’s lead to 11-9 with 12:14 to play, but Hagerman, junior Yeardley Love and junior Kaitlin Duff each recorded goals for the Cavaliers to push Virginia ahead 14-9 with 2:46 remaining.

The Orange worked to score two goals as time expired, but it wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers held on for the 14-11 victory.

Rowan and Dove led Syracuse with three goals each, while Hogan picked up 13 saves.

For the Cavaliers, Benner stopped nine shots, while Duff scooped up three ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Virginia will return to action on Friday, March 6, playing host to No. 6 Maryland in an Atlantic Coast Conference game. Opening draw is slated for 7 p.m. in Klckner Stadium.

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