The No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers (13-3) upended the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-6) in the ACC Championship final on Saturday afternoon, 10-4, in front of 4,489 fans at Klöckner Stadium.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers (13-3) upended the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-6) in the ACC Championship final on Saturday afternoon, 10-4, in front of 4,489 fans at Klöckner Stadium. The win yielded UVA its 18th Atlantic Coast Conference title and first since 2010.
After dropping the 2018 ACC Championship final to Notre Dame, 17-7, at Klöckner Stadium, UVA won the rematch behind a stellar team defensive effort. With the game tied, 2-2, at the 4:11 mark of the first quarter, Virginia held Notre Dame scoreless for the next 42:12 as the Cavaliers enjoyed an 8-0 run.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Unassisted goals by Matt Moore and Dox Aitken put UVA up early, 2-0, with 8:20 left in the first quarter. Notre Dame bounced back to tie the game, 2-2, after an extra-man goal by Bryan Costabile, followed by a score from Nick Stinn at 4:11 in the first.
A transition goal by Ian Laviano on a Michael Kraus helper started an 8-0 UVA run that spelled doom for the Fighting Irish. Ryan Conrad and Aitken each scored two during the run, while Cory Harris’ open-net goal in transition with 9:12 left to play capped the run. Meanwhile, UVA’s defense was stingy, causing 16 of Notre Dame’s 23 turnovers. Long-stick midfielder Jared Conners finished with four ground balls and caused three turnovers, while also scoring a goal off a faceoff. UVA long-pole Logan Greco picked up five ground balls and caused four turnovers.
— Virginia Men’s Lacrosse (@UVAMensLax) May 4, 2019
UVA STAT LEADERS
• M Dox Aitken
• M Ryan Conrad
2 goals, 3 GBs
• M Petey LaSalla
9-of-18 FOs, 6 GBs
• GK Alex Rhode
11 saves, 3 GBs
• D Logan Greco
5 GBs, 4 CTs
• LSM Jared Conners
1 goal, 4 GBs, 3 CTs
• Virginia captured its 18th ACC title and first since 2010.
• Virginia captured its seventh ACC Tournament title.
• The six-goal win was UVA’s largest margin of victory in an ACC title game since beating Maryland by six, 11-5, to win the 2006 ACC title.
• UVA is 12-5 all-time as the ACC’s No. 1 seed and has won three ACC titles in a row when the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
• UVA is 23-20 all-time in the ACC Tournament and 3-1 under Lars Tiffany.
• Four Cavaliers made All-ACC Tournament team, led by MVP Ryan Conrad. Joining Conrad was Dox Aitken, Jared Conners and Matt Moore.
• UVA’s 13 wins are the most by the Cavaliers entering the NCAA Tournament since the 2010 squad had 14.
• Michael Kraus extended his active streak with a point to 45 games.
• UVA is the nation’s No. 1 riding team, forcing an average of 6.0 failed clears a game. Against Notre Dame they forced seven as the Irish were 15-of-22 in the clearing game.
• After losing seven in a row against Notre Dame between 2012-18, UVA has won two straight.
• UVA limited Notre Dame to four goals, its lowest offensive output since losing 8-2 to Duke in 2018.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
“This is the way the ACC Championship game should be on a campus [of one of the participating teams in the final]. I mean what a setting here, the Charlottesville faithful, the community, Notre Dame fans, our fans. What was the attendance,4,400-plus? This is what college lacrosse is supposed to look like, in this setting. So thank you to all the Virginia faithful who came out today and supported us and really propelled us to this win. It’s a major statement for our team defense. If you saw us two years ago with my first season here as a head coach, also as a defensive coordinator, I like to wear both hats, we’ve come a long way. I give credit to these group of men for continuing to believe in me after that first year. That all really culminated today with our decision making, when to slide to the man being dodged, and when not to. Because we don’t slide to everything, that decision making has taken years to hone. The culmination of it was what we did today against a really tough offensive team. Of course Alex Rode, who every week is in a competition for his starting spot, I give him a lot of credit. He stepped up and shut the door for a couple quarters, huge effort from Alex.” – Lars Tiffany
UVA will await its NCAA Tournament fate. The NCAA Selection Show is set for 9 p.m. on Sun., May 5 and will be broadcast on ESPNU.