March 18, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s lacrosse team (4-4, 1-2 ACC) won its ACC home opener 15-5 over No. 10 Notre Dame (8-4, 2-1 ACC) on Saturday afternoon at KlÃƒÆ’Ã†’Â¶ckner Stadium.
Virginia scored first and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first six minutes of the game. The Cavaliers then used an 8-1 run later in the first half to take a 10-2 advantage into halftime. UVA didn’t let up in the second half, as senior Posey Valis (Balitmore, Md.) sparked the offense with all five goals to help secure the victory.
“I think they just brought great energy and emotion into today’s game and left it out on the field,” head coach Julie Myers said. “All week we have been talking about Notre Dame and the kids took it and ran with it. They made plays all over the field and fed off each other’s energy and emotions and it worked out well for us. Notre Dame is a terrific team with a lot of wins under its belt so hopefully we take this a put it in the right spot moving forward.”
Valis finished the day with a career-high six goals. Fellow seniors Besser Dyson (Alexandria, Va.) and Kelly Reese (Severna Park, Md.) also finished with hat tricks for the Cavaliers. Dyson added two assists to finish with five points, while Reese had one assist for four points.
Virginia’s defense held a potent Notre Dame offense to its lowest score of the season, after averaging 14.55 goals per game entering the contest. The Cavaliers had 12 caused turnovers and junior goalkeeper Rachel Vander Kolk (Severna Park, Md.) finished with seven saves.
Sophomore Maggie Jackson (Alexandria, Va.) put Virginia on the board first with a goal at the 26:46 mark. UVA extended its lead to 3-0 with a goal by Dyson on a Reese assist, and then Reese converted a free position shot with 24:33 left in the first. Notre Dame scored its first goal by Alex Dalton at 23:39 to make it a 3-1 game.
A caused turnover by Jackson that was picked up by freshman Kaitlin Luzik (Alexandria, Va.) led to Dyson’s second goal of the day as Jackson also picked up the assist. Another turnover gave the Cavaliers possession as Dyson found freshman Sammy Mueller (Pelham, N.Y.) for a goal. UVA then scored three-straight goals a man down, with Dyson netting one from Jackson, junior Kasey Behr (Northport, N.Y.) scoring on the assist from Dyson and Reese finding the net to make it 8-1.
Reese scored her third of the day, her third-straight game with at least three goals, to put Virginia in front 9-1. Notre Dame scored before Valis made her first goal of the afternoon to send UVA into the half up 10-2.
Valis began her second-half dominance with a goal on an assist from sophomore Avery Shoemaker (Wyndmoor, Pa.) at the 26:41 mark. Valis added two more goals in the span of six minutes to put the Cavaliers ahead 13-2 with 20:37 to play. Notre Dame scored to cut it back to ten twice, but Valis responded with a goal each time. The Irish scored the final goal of the game at the 4:29 mark as UVA remained in control for the 15-5 victory.
The Cavaliers led Notre Dame in shots (37-20), draw controls (14-8), ground balls (25-17) and had 16 turnovers to 20 for the Irish. Notre Dame had 10 saves and UVA finished with seven. The Cavaliers were 3-of-9 on free position shots and perfect on clears (19-for-19). Notre Dame finished 3-of-6 from the eight-meter.
Virginia travels to Harrisonburg, Va. to face in-state foe James Madison on Wednesday, March 22, before returning home to host No. 16 Duke on Saturday, March 25 at KlÃƒÆ’Ã†’Â¶ckner Stadium.