Highlights from Virginia's 12-8 win over No. 6 James Madison 03.20.24

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Led by a career-high five-goal game from freshman Jenna Dinardo and a smothering defensive performance, the No. 9 Virginia women’s lacrosse team (9-1, 3-1 ACC) earned a convincing victory Wednesday evening (March 20) over sixth-ranked JMU (7-2, 1-0 AAC) at Klöckner Stadium.

Dinardo led the Cavaliers in scoring with five goals to her tally. Mackenzie Hoeg (2g) and Kiki Shaw (2g, 1a) led the pack of five additional scorers for the Cavaliers including Kate Miller (1g, 2a), Morgan Schwab (1g, 3a) and Madison Alaimo (1g, 1a).

Maggie Bostain led the defensive effort with three caused turnovers and one ground ball. Hoeg, Kate Denmark and Nicole Cruthirds all logged a pair of caused turnovers, with five other players accounting for the team’s season-high of 14. Mel Josephson put up 11 saves marking her sixth game this season in double figures.

How it Happened
The Cavalier defense started the game off strong, defending a long possession from the Dukes off the opening draw. Kiki Shaw set the tone offensively, scoring the first two goals of the game inside the eight-meter arc. Madison Alaimo buried the Cavaliers’ seventh goal on the crease to close out the first quarter and give Virginia a 7-2 lead.

JMU worked to slow the Cavaliers’ momentum, scoring two to open the quarter. The defense was on display with three caused turnovers and four saves from sophomore goalie Mel Josephson, who made an important stop on the doorstep to preserve a three-goal cushion. Virginia went into the halftime break with a 7-4 advantage.

After an early third-quarter goal from James Madison, Hoeg snapped the Dukes’ three-goal run, turning inside from her defender to score her second goal of the day. The offense kept rolling as Dinardo secured her fourth-straight hat trick with two goals in the period while Josephson made another one-on-one save in the final seconds of the period to hold on to a 10-5 lead going into the fourth quarter.

James Madison opened the scoring in the fourth, but it was quickly answered as Morgan Schwab assisted Dinardo twice in just over two minutes as the Cavaliers netted back-to-back to give UVA it’s largest lead of the day. The Cavaliers defense locked down the Dukes offense behind Josephson’s three saves in the fourth, leading Virginia to a 12-8 victory.

From Head Coach Sonia LaMonica:
“It was such a great battle today. JMU is obviously having an amazing season. I know our group has just continued to be hungry and there are so many things I could highlight from this outing. I am really proud of the defensive effort. I think we really made JMU have to earn every look. They really made it tough. It was an outstanding performance defensively and our ride all over the field—really taking time off the clock was huge. Our midfield worked their tails off today.”

With the Win:

  • Virginia improves to 9-1 on the season, its best start to a season since 2007
  • UVA improves to 4-1 against ranked opposition
  • The Cavaliers mark their second win over opposition ranked in the top-10 this season
  • Virginia moves to 5-1 at home this season
  • The Cavaliers move to 36-16-1 all-time against the Dukes

Additional Notes

  • Schwab’s three assists pushes her season total to 40 and leads NCAA Division I in the category
  • With 217 career points, Schwab moves into ninth on the Virginia career points list
  • Jenna Dinardo not only recorded her fourth consecutive hat trick with 14 goals in four games
  • Dinardo’s five goals today registered a career-high
  • With two caused turnovers each, Kate Demark and Nicole Cruthirds each set career highs
  • Mel Josephson recorded double digit saves for the sixth time this season
  • Kiki Shaw led the team with four draw controls while scooping up an additional three ground balls
  • Virginia won the turnover battle with 16 compared to JMU’s 19
  • Sonia LaMonica improves to a record of 8-9 all-time when coaching against James Madison dating back to her time as head coach at Towson

Up Next:
The Cavaliers will be back at Klöckner Stadium on Saturday (March 23) for an ACC clash with No. 7 Syracuse. First draw is set for 12 p.m.