Highlights from No. 16 Virginia's 14-6 win over Liberty

LYNCHBURG, Va. — The No. 16 Virginia women’s lacrosse team (1-0) began its 2024 season with a win over Liberty (0-1) thanks to a four goal-performance from Katia Carnevale on her Virginia debut as the Cavaliers won 14-6 at the Liberty Lacrosse Field on Friday night.

 Cavalier debutants impressed as Carnevale scored four goals in Virginia’s season opener. In addition to Carnevale’s four-goal game, freshman Madison Alaimo scored a goal and added three assists in her first collegiate outing. Freshmen Jenna Dinardo and Addi Foster each tallied a goal and assist. Sophomore goalkeeper Mel Josephson made her debut in cage as well logging 12 stops overall.

In Virginia’s season-opening win, the Cavaliers were efficient on the offensive end scoring 14 goals on 22 shots. Converting at such an efficient rate, combined with outstanding play from Josephson in goal, saw the team cruise to a comfortable win despite losing the ground ball battle (19-17) and picking up less draw controls (13-11).

How it Happened
The 2024 season began with a new face scoring for the Cavaliers as Carnevale netted the opening goal with just over nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. After Liberty tied the game at 1-1, Virginia went on a four-goal run to reclaim the lead as Morgan Schwab and Mackenzie Hoeg combined for four points over that stretch.

With just under five minutes remaining in the opening half, Liberty scored a pair of goals off free position attempts to half the UVA lead. The game went to halftime with the Cavaliers leading by a score of 5-3.

Virginia dominated the third quarter scoring five goals while shutting out the Flames for the period. It was Devon Whitaker who ignited a six-goal run for Virginia. Receiving a pass in her own defensive end, Whitaker went coast-to-coast before shooting into an empty net to make the score 6-3 in favor of UVA. Virginia would score the next five goals of the game with Carnevale logging a pair during the run. The third period ended with Virginia leading 11-3.

Liberty would end a scoring drought of over 20 minutes with back-to-back goals in the fourth quarter, but the Cavaliers slammed the door shut with two goals in the final five minutes from Carnevale and Hoeg.

From Head Coach Sonia LaMonica
“Liberty played a really good game today. They played us tough through every play, but I am proud of how this team continued to battle through to the end of the game. I thought Mel had outstanding play in the goal today and made a lot of clutch saves and that was huge. I loved seeing the defensive unit coming up strong today.”


  • In her first game as a Cavalier, Katia Carnevale scored the opening goal of 2024. The Lehigh transfer has scored in her last 10 appearances dating back to March 2023
  • Carnevale totaled four goals on the day marking her 28th career hat trick
  • Mackenzie Hoeg scored three goals in her season opener recording the 14th hat trick of her career
  • With three assists, Morgan Schwab inches closer to the top-five on Virginia’s career assists list. Schwab’s next two assists will tie her for fifth on the list.
  • With one goal and one assist, Kate Miller extends her point streak to 12 games. Miller has scored a goal in three consecutive outings
  • Seven of Virginia’s 14 goals came from newcomers in 2024 (Carnevale, Alaimo, Dinardo, Foster)
  • Alaimo stood out among UVA’s freshman performers recording a goal and three assists
  • Senior defender, Devon Whitaker scored her first goal since her freshman season in 2021
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Mel Josephson made 12 saves in her UVA debut after not seeing game action in 2023.
  • Sonia LaMonica wins her first game in charge at UVA earning her 148th career victory

Up Next
The Cavaliers return to action on Sunday (Feb. 11) when the team hosts Stanford for its home opener at Klöckner Stadium. First draw is set for 1 p.m.

Head coach Sonia LaMonica following Virginia's 14-6 win over Liberty