Eighth-Ranked Cavaliers Hold on For 10-9 Victory Over No. 15 Princeton
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 8 Virginia women’s lacrosse team used scrappy defense and streaky scoring to hold off No. 15 Princeton Saturday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium, 10-9. The one-goal margin of victory marks the 14th time in the programs’ 30-game history that the game has been decided by just one score.
The win also bumps Virginia to 5-3 on the season, while Princeton falls to an even 3-3 this year.
Virginia’s four primary attackers – juniors Ainsley Baker, Charlie Finnigan, Julie Gardner and Josie Owen – once again led the way for the Cavaliers. The quartet has scored for the Cavaliers in every this season and were led today by Finnigan and Gardner’s three goals. Gardner also tacked on one assist for a game-high four points, while Owen contributed two goals and Baker added one.
Sophomore Annie Thomas also had a goal for Virginia, while freshman Maddy Keeshan finished the day with two assists.
For Princeton (3-3), Barb Previ led the way with three goals, while Sarah Lloyd had two scores.
Virginia opened the game scoring behind a goal from Owen, assisted by Keeshan, at 25:20. Princeton responded less than 30 seconds later though, bringing the score to 1-1.
Another Owen goal, assisted by Gardner, put the Cavaliers back up one, 2-1, at 20:35. The Tigers rallied for another quick goal within the next minute, but it wouldn’t be enough to quiet Virginia, as the Cavaliers rattled off four straight to take a 6-2 lead with 7:39 left in the half.
Baker started the run as she streaked down the field and fired a shot into the net at 18:48, extending her streak of consecutive games with a goal to 15. Finnigan then fired a shot into the net from Keeshan at 12:28, before Thomas converted a free position shot at 10:56. Finnigan capped off the run with her second score at 7:39.
From there, the Tigers rallied to keep the Cavaliers off the board while they chipped away at Virginia’s lead. Maisie Devine, Caroline Rehfuss and Sam Ellis all notched goals for the visitors before the break, bringing the score to 6-5, in favor of Virginia, at halftime.
Out of the intermission, Gardner recorded her first goal of the day at 27:12. She notched her second after Princeton scored at 26:52, giving the Cavaliers an 8-6 advantage with 26:08 to play.
Finnigan converted a free position shot for her 13th career hat trick, and sixth of the season, at 22:40, but Lloyd kept Princeton within two goals with a score at the 20-minute mark.
Gardner’s goal at 16:28 would prove to be the final score for the Cavaliers, while the Tigers worked for back-to-back goals to bring the final score to 10-9.
Senior All-American Liz Downs was critical to Virginia’s transition game today, as she helped the Cavaliers complete 16 of 18 attempts. The defender also earned a season-high four ground balls and caused one turnover.
Senior Marghi Walters, sophomore Megan Dunleavy and Goerz were also instrumental in Virginia’s defensive efforts. Walters finished the game with two ground balls, while Goerz had a team-high four draw controls, three ground balls and one caused turnover. Dunleavy earned three ground balls and one caused turnover.
Junior Bailey Fogarty won three draw controls for Virginia.
The Cavaliers will return to action on Wednesday as they head to No. 9 James Madison for a 7 p.m., contest.