April 11, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Goalie Griffin Thompson made a career-high 18 saves to lead the No. 18 Virginia Cavaliers (8-5) to a Tuesday night win over the Robert Morris Colonials (8-4), 13-7, at KlÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘Â¶ckner Stadium.
“I am a bit shocked at the level Griffin Thompson is playing at right now,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “To see how far he has come, where he was playing in the fall, and how he started playing in February and March when he was sitting on the bench behind Will Railey, it is an absolute testament to coach Kip Turner and Griffin Thompson. How hard those two have worked to fix his weaknesses and some bad habits, and the result is out there now. It’s really impressive.”
UVA cruised to an early 6-0 lead after one quarter of play, as five different Cavaliers scored in the spurt. UVA scored six goals in the opening quarter on 10 shots and not one shot was saved by Robert Morris goalie Alex Heger, who later finished the game with 19 saves.
Robert Morris outscored UVA 4-1 in the second quarter, cutting UVA’s lead to three goals at the intermission, 7-4. Virginia started the second half on a 4-0 run, taking an 11-4 lead with 11:07 to play. Michael Kraus scored the last of his three goals, while Joe French, Mikey Herring and Zed Williams finished the spurt.
The Colonials finished the game on a 3-2 run as UVA emptied its bench and the Cavaliers secured the victory.
“It is a big win,” said Tiffany “There may be some people watching right now who don’t know who Robert Morris is or where they’re from, but in the lacrosse world they’re a significant program, with an 8-3 record coming in here tonight. Without 21 saves from our goalies, most of them from Griffin Thompson the freshman, we are in an absolute dog fight.”
As the contest served as UVA’s final regular season home game of the season, Tiffany started 10 seniors in a new Cavalier tradition.
“What was really exciting is that we have a new tradition here for Virginia,” said Tiffany. “It is an old tradition for our staff, but on senior night we want to make sure as many seniors start as possible. That is why we had Ryan Montgomery in the cage because it was senior night and we want to honor those guys who over the last four years have put in the hard work. For us to be up one or two to nothing before we subbed them out and put our normal starters in was really exciting and is a testament to the team effort that we had out there tonight as a team. I am really excited that we got off to a great start with our seniors making it happen.”
Virginia won the battle of shots (49-40), ground balls (56-48), faceoffs (17-7) and saves (21-19). Robert Morris had more turnovers (25-18).
UVA returns to action on Saturday at No. 9 Duke. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be webcast on ACC Network Extra.
Robert Morris 0-4-0-3-7
Scoring (G-A) – R Matt Schmidt 3-0, Conner Yepsen 1-0, Jack Toomb 1-0, Austin Popovich 1-0, Alexander Bohl 1-0, Ryan Smith 0-1, Jimmy Perkins 0-1, Mitchell Wales 0-1. V: Michael Kraus 3-1, Joe French 3-0, Dox Aitken 2-0, Zed Williams 1-2, AJ Fish 1-1, Ryan Lukacovic 1-1, Mikey Herring 1-0, Mitch Gordon 1-0, Ryan Conrad 0-2, Luke Brugel 0-1, Mike D’Amario 0-1.
Goalie Summary – R: Alex Heger 58:54 mins. 19 saves, 13 goals allowed. Brett Cass 1:06 mins. 0 saves, 0 goals allowed. V: Griffin Thompson 52:24 mins. 18 saves, 6 goals allowed. Ryan Montgomery 4:36 mins. 3 saves, 1 goal allowed.
Shots: R-40, V-49
Ground Balls: R-48, V-56
Clearing: R-23×32, V-25×25
Faceoffs: R-7, V-17
Penalties: R-2-1:30, V-6-4:00
EMO: R-0x5, V-0x1