May 1, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– The No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers (12-5) cruised past the VMI Keydets (2-11) on Tuesday night, 17-8, at Klöckner Stadium. The game was the regular season finale for both teams. Eleven different Cavaliers scored goals for UVA and thirteen different Cavaliers scored points against the Keydets.
The 12 wins are the most in the regular season for the Cavaliers since the 2010 team won 14 contests prior to the NCAA Tournament.
“I am really happy with the energy,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “It’s easy to have a letdown after playing two ACC powerhouses. We challenged our men and they accepted it. I really liked the way we were unselfish in the first half, especially moving the ball and sharing it. You got to see a lot of great feeds and assisted goals. It was really wonderful to have Luke Brugel step up. Justin Schwenk‘s been banged up and so for Luke Brugel to step in when we needed him, against VMI, who is really one of the better faceoff teams in the nation, that was the big key for me. Luke and the faceoff wings with Jared Conners, Will Rock and Chris Merle picking up a lot of tough ground balls.”
Virginia never trailed and led 5-0 before VMI found nylon. The Cavaliers opened the game on a 12-1 run before the Keydets scored with 58 seconds left in the second quarter to make it a 10-goal lead for UVA, 12-2, heading into the intermission.
In all, 32 different Cavaliers played as several key members of the team had the night off as UVA played its third game in six days. UVA was led by Mike D’Amario‘s four goals, giving him 100 career points on the nose. Ian Laviano came off the bench to score three goals and dish out one assist as senior Cameron Stafford got the start in UVA’s last game of the season at Klöckner Stadium. Stafford added a goal and an assist. Matt Emery finished his home career with two goals and two assists. Brugel was key, winning 16-of-27 faceoffs and picking up six ground balls. Mikey Herring added three assists for the Cavaliers in the win. Will Rock and Lawson Pisani also each scored their first career goals in the victory.
Virginia won the battle of shots (44-25), ground balls (44-28), faceoffs (16-11), while VMI had more saves (9-4) and turnovers (17-13).
The Cavaliers will await their NCAA fate on Sunday. The NCAA Selection Show will air on ESPNU at 9 p.m.