March 29, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- The No. 15 Virginia women’s lacrosse team (7-4) used a big second half to take the 15-6 win over Oregon (7-5) on Wednesday night at KlÃÆ’¶ckner Stadium.

Down 3-0 less than four minutes into the contest, Virginia slowly cut into Oregon’s lead and eventually tied the game at 4-4 after back-to-back goals by sophomore Avery Shoemaker (Wyndmoor, Pa.) with 11 minutes to play in the first. The Cavaliers took their first lead of the game, 5-4, into halftime and scored the first three goals of the second half to go ahead 8-4. UVA’s defense held Oregon scoreless for nearly 26 minutes and allowed just two goals in the second half, while the Cavaliers tallied 10.

“Oregon came in really fast and had us on our heels a little bit in the beginning of the first half,” head coach Julie Myers said. “I’m proud of our girls for plugging away and doing the little things that generated opportunities to hang in there that first half, then we were able to open it up in the second half. It took a lot of grit and hustle to get those draw controls and ground balls that made a big difference for us tonight.”

Virginia controlled most of the game, with 36 shots to just 15 for the Ducks. The Cavaliers also grabbed 17 draw controls to six and had 25 ground balls to 18 for Oregon.

Shoemaker finished with a career-high five goals to lead the Cavaliers. Senior Kelly Reese (Severna Park, Md.) and freshman Sammy Mueller (Pelham, N.Y.) each had hat tricks on the night. Senior Posey Valis (Baltimore, Md.) scored two goals and sophomore Maggie Jackson (Alexandria, Va.) and freshman Nora Bowen (Lovettsville, Va.) added one apiece.

Senior Besser Dyson (Alexandria, Va.) dished out three assists and Jackson added two. Defensively, junior Rachel Vander Kolk (Severna Park, Md.) had eight saves for UVA. The Ducks’ goalkeeper Becca Katzen came up with 12 saves. Junior Kasey Behr (Northport, N.Y.) had six ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Oregon scored the first three goals of the game before Virginia was on the board with a goal by Reese at the 23:28 mark in the first half. Jackson then found the net with the assist from Dyson to cut the lead to 3-2. The Ducks scored again to go up 4-2, but Shoemaker scored back-to-back goals in the span of 10 seconds to tie the game at four. Valis hit her first of the night with 4:02 left in the first to give the Cavaliers a 5-4 lead heading into halftime.

The scoring continued shortly into the second half when Shoemaker notched a hat trick with 29:38 to play that gave UVA a 6-4 advantage. Mueller added a goal and Reese scored on a free position to put the Cavaliers up 8-4 with 24:06 remaining. Oregon was scoreless for the final 16 minutes of the first half, and didn’t score again until 19:42 left in the second to cut it to 8-5.

Shoemaker scored to keep UVA ahead by four, but Oregon cut into the lead once again with a goal at the 11:43 mark to make it 9-6. The Cavaliers kept their momentum, closing out the game on a 6-0 run.

Mueller scored back-to-back goals, with Dyson assisting both, to spark the run. Valis and Reese scored within 25 seconds of each other to put UVA in front 13-6. Shoemaker hit her fifth and final goal of the night and Bowen scored to close out the 15-6 victory.

Virginia will return to ACC play on the road this week as it travels to face Boston College Saturday, April 1. The Cavaliers and Eagles are set for a 1 p.m. opening draw.