CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 9 Virginia lacrosse team (2-3, 0-1 ACC) held off a late charge by No. 8 Penn State (2-2, 0-0 ALC) to earn a 12-11 victory on Saturday (March 1) at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
“I can tell you, I am pretty excited,” said Virginia head coach Julie Myers. “I thought we were going to win this with some comfort, but it is kind of nice when your back is against the wall to come away with the victory.”
Virginia held a 12-8 advantage after junior Courtney Swan (Vero Beach, Fla.) scored on a free position shot with 3:37 remaining. Penn State won the ensuing draw control, scoring 11 seconds later. Penn State won the next draw as well, netting a man-up goal with 2:17 remaining to make it a two-goal game. The Nittany Lions won their third-straight draw, scoring five seconds later to narrow the gap to 12-11 with 2:05 remaining.
Senior Liza Blue (Butler, Md.) won the subsequent draw control, giving the Cavaliers possession in the final two minutes. Virginia was able to run out the clock and secure its first victory of the season over a ranked opponent.
“I thought Liza's last draw was huge, but she had so many huge moments in the game,” Myers said. “After she won the draw, we were able to spread the field. Everybody made the catches, made the plays and kept possession at the end of the game. That was really nice to see.”
Blue scored four goals with an assist, her third four-goal game of the season and her second five-point performance. Swan and junior Morgan Stephens (Olney, Md.) each had two goals with Stephens also logging an assist. Freshman Kelly Reese (Severna Park, Md.) scored her first career goal.
Madison Cyr and Amy Smucker each had two goals for the Nittany Lions. Jess Loizeaux, who played at UVa before transferring to Penn State, scored a goal with three assists.
Virginia jumped out to a 2-0 lead with junior Casey Bocklet (South Salem, N.Y.) starting off the game with a goal 30 seconds into the contest. The teams went into the break with the score knotted at five. After Penn State scored the first two goals of the second half, taking a 7-5 lead with 23:24 remaining, Virginia scored six unanswered goals to hold an 11-7 advantage. The two teams traded goals prior to Penn State's 3-0 run in the final 3:22.
Penn State goalkeeper Emi Smith logged 16 saves, including 11 in the first half. Virginia's Liz Colgan (Cockeysville, Md.) logged 12 saves, with eight coming in the second half.
Virginia had a slight edge in draw controls, winning 13 to PSU's 12 with Swan credited with a team-high five draw controls.
Penn State was just 1 of 6 on free position shots while Virginia converted 4 of 6.
The Cavaliers close out the current homestand on Saturday, March 8 at 1:00 p.m. when they host No. 1 North Carolina, the fourth time this season that UVa will take on a top-10-ranked team.
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.; March 1, 2014 – No. 8 Penn State rallied from four goals down to make it a one-goal contest with 2:05 left to play, but the Nittany Lions were unable to tally the equalizer in a 12-11 loss to No. 9 Virginia at Klöckner Stadium Saturday afternoon. Penn State fell to 2-2 overall (0-0 ALC), while the Cavaliers improved to 2-3 (0-1 ACC).
Junior transfer Jess Loizeaux (Mullica Hill, N.J.) registered a team-high four points (1g, 3a) against her former team, while classmate Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.) collected her third three-point game (1g, 2a) of the season. Senior Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md./1g, 1a), sophomore Madison Cyr (Westminster, Md./2g) and freshman Abby Smucker (Bel Air, Md./2g) all added two-point games.
After the first half ended in a 5-5 tie, the Nittany Lions opened the second stanza with two strikes before Virginia capitalized on a six-goal run en route to an 11-7 advantage. The teams swapped a tally each before the Nittany Lions scored three straight to make it 12-11. Both Penn State and Virginia launched 32 shots with Penn State goalkeeper Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) making a career-high 16 saves.
Virginia held advantages in ground balls (19-15), draw controls (13-12) and caused turnovers (6-4). The Nittany Lions completed 16 of 18 clears and went 1 for 6 on free-position shots, while the Cavaliers were 12 for 15 and 4 for 6, respectively.
In a back and forth first half, Virginia took a 2-0 lead before the Nittany Lions answered with a pair of their own. With 19:50 left, sophomore Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.) netted a free-position shot before McCormick evened the game off Loizeaux's feed with 17:21 remaining.
Mary Alati and Liza Blue helped the Cavaliers retake their two-goal advantage, but Penn State answered again with two goals in a 20-second span. Sophomore midfielder Ally Heavens (Garnet Valley, Pa.) made it a 4-3 score when she finished off Loizeaux's pass with 8:34 left. Freshman Natalie Schmitt (Malvern, Pa.) wasted little time to knot the score with an unassisted marker.
With 7:38 left in the first half, Morgan Stephens gave Virginia a 5-4 lead, but Loizeaux took a pass from Mackenzie Cyr and sent a behind-the-back shot past Cavalier goalkeeper Liz Colgan with 12 seconds remaining to tie the game.
In the second half, sophomore Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.) gave the Nittany Lions their first lead 3:05 into the half, while Smucker extended the advantage to 7-5 with 23:24 left when she converted McCormick's pass.
After the Smucker strike, Virginia responded with a six-goal run in a 9:39 span. Penn State's Madison Cyr and Virginia's Courtney Swan then exchanged markers with 4:26 and 3:37 left, respectively, before the Nittany Lions ended the game on a 3-0 run.
Smucker netted her second of the contest when she scored off a pass from Loizeaux with 3:22 remaining before Mackenzie Cyr and McCormick connected for the former's first of the game with 2:17 left. Madison Cyr netted her second of the contest 12 seconds later to account for the 12-11 final.
The Nittany Lions will return to action Wednesday, March 5 when they face James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va. Game time is set at 4:00 p.m.