Feb. 20, 2018
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The No. 6 Virginia Cavaliers (3-0) overcame an early deficit to pick up a road win against the High Point Panthers (0-4) on Tuesday night, 18-12, at Vert Stadium.
“This is a big win,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “Our men know it – our staff knows and I hope the High Point team knows how big of win our program believes this to be. What an exciting and fun game to play. High Point plays up-tempo, fast-paced, dynamic offense, aggressive defense and I don’t know if you could find a better lacrosse game to go to where you see two teams swinging for the fences and trying to make big plays. I give a lot of credit to the energy that High Point brought tonight and I love how we responded to that energy in the second half.”
The Panthers started fast, opening the game on a 5-2 run as Virginia was unable to save a shot during the spurt. Dox Aitken and Michael Kraus cut it to 3-2 by 11:10 in the first, but a 3-0 HPU run forced Tiffany to change goalies as he inserted freshman Alex Rode with 6:03 remaining in the first.
Ian Laviano picked up some garbage on the crease and scored his first goal at 4:26 in the first, which started a 5-1 UVA run. The run gave the Cavaliers their first lead of the game, 7-6, with 11:04 left in the second quarter. Laviano scored twice in the spurt, while Kraus scored and dished out two assists during the run. Matt Emery capped the streak with his first goal of the season on one of Kraus’ assists with 11:04 left in the first half.
UVA and High Point traded goals back and forth the rest of the half, as the game was knotted at 9-9 entering the intermission.
The Cavaliers started hot in the third quarter, opening on a 4-1 run, grabbing a 13-10 lead. Aitken, Kraus, Laviano and Matt Moore all scored goals during the spurt. Moore’s unassisted goal with 9:00 left in the third capped the run.
Asher Nolting snapped UVA’s run with a goal with 16 seconds left in the third period, cutting UVA’s lead to two goals, 13-11, heading into the fourth.
The nail in the coffin for High Point came while Aitken had a full-time served illegal body check penalty. HPU scored a man-up goal with 8:30 left in the game. Justin Schwenk went on to win back-to-back man-down faceoffs, both of which ended with UVA goals. Schwenk assisted the first UVA man-down goal with 8:24 left when Kraus scored. Then Schwenk called his own number at 8:24 after winning his second man-down faceoff. Schwenk’s goal gave UVA a 17-12 lead.
“Being up three and facing off down a man I thought this could be a big turning point in the game,” said Tiffany. “Instead, it was a turning point our way with Justin Schwenk winning two faceoffs, gets an assist and scores a goal – huge, huge play in the fourth quarter in what had become a pressure situation.”
High Point never scored again and Mike D’Amario capped the game with his unassisted goal at 3:21, finishing the game’s scoring.
Virginia won the battle of shots (47-40), ground balls (38-28) and faceoffs (19-15). High Point had more saves (15-11) and the saves were equal (12-12).
Kraus led UVA with five goals and seven points. Laviano scored four goals, while Aitken finished with three. Mikey Herring dished out four assists. Rode made 11 saves in his collegiate debut.
Virginia is back in action on Saturday when Princeton comes to /sports/2018/5/22/facilities.aspx Stadium. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.