Eleventh-Ranked Cavaliers Hold Off Hokie Rally, Earn 12-10 ACC Victory
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 11 Virginia women’s lacrosse team held off an eight-goal second-half rally by its in-state rival Virginia Tech Wednesday evening at Klöckner Stadium to earn its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory of the season, 12-10. With the win, the Cavaliers bump their all-time record against the Hokies to 17-0 and move to 9-5 this season and 1-4 in the ACC. Virginia Tech falls to 8-6 overall and 1-3 in the league.
Junior Charlie Finnigan led all players in the contest with seven points on a game-high four goals and three assists, while classmate Julie Gardner tacked on three goals and one assist. The hat trick marks the 16th of Finnigan’s career, while it also stretches the England native’s goal-scoring streak to 15-straight games.
Junior Josie Owen also improved her scoring streak tonight, moving it to 17-straight games with a goal, as she contributed two scores. Junior Ainsley Baker tacked on one goal and one assist for the Cavaliers, while sophomores Caroline McTiernan and Annie Thomas rounded out the scoring with one goal apiece.
For Virginia Tech, Allie Emala and Morgan Widlake each notched three goals, while Jessica Nonn had two. Caitlyn Wier and Emile Hunter accounted for the other two goals.
Virginia got the scoring started and moved its record to 7-0 when scoring first. Gardner led the way at the beginning, having a hand in three of Virginia’s first four goals. The Severna Park, Md., native scored the game’s first goal at 27:17, before the Hokies evened the score at one all, at the 26:23 mark. Gardner then gave Virginia a 2-1 lead with her second score at 26:06 – assisted by Finnigan.
The score sparked a 6-0 run for the Cavaliers, while Virginia’s defense held Tech scoreless for the next 23 minutes.
The Hokies finally broke through at the 3:30 mark of the opening stanza, to bring the score to 7-2. Owen answered by firing her second goal into the net with 13.5 seconds to play, before Finnigan raced down the field and scored as time expired to give Virginia a 9-2 halftime advantage.
Scoring in the second half began on an own goal. UVa sophomore goalkeeper Kim Kolarik went to intercept a Hokie pass, but the ball ricocheted into the back of the net to give Tech the first goal of the half, at 25:48.
Finnigan responded for Virginia, with a goal at 23:53, but the Hokies answered with an 8-meter goal at 23:06 to bring the count to 10-4.
Kolarik came up big on the Hokies’ next possession, turning back a point-blank shot. Fogarty won the ground ball and Virginia called a timeout as Baker was streaking down the field. Out of the break, Baker found herself wide open in front of the goal and fired a shot into the net to give Virginia an 11-5 advantage.
A goal from Gardner, assisted by Finnigan, at 17:26 would prove to be the Cavaliers’ final score of the game and the Hokies closed out the contest on a five-goal run to bring the final score to 12-10.
Senior All-American Liz Downs anchored the defense by scooping up a game-high three ground balls and winning three draw controls. Owen also finished the day with three draw controls.
In goal, Kolarik earned seven saves for the Cavaliers.
Virginia will return to action next week as it heads to Fairfax, Va., to face George Mason. Opening draw is slated for Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m.