Virginia Upsets Northwestern in Season Opener
From Press Release | Box Score
KENNESAW, Ga. – No. 11 Virginia women's lacrosse (1-0) opened the 2016 season by defeating No. 5 Northwestern (1-1), 10-8, at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. as part of the Cobb County Classic. The win snapped UVA's nine-game losing streak to Northwestern.
"This is a really exciting way to start the season," Virginia head coach Julie Myers said. "I thought the girls did a great job of battling, fighting, being resilient and smart and making Northwestern play us pretty tough. I am very proud of the girls and excited about starting off on a win. We haven't done that in a few years so that is pretty exciting."
Northwestern outshot Virginia 28-27, but sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Vander Kolk (Severna Park, Md.) finished with 12 saves to help secure the team's win. The Cavaliers also had an advantage on the draw control, 12-8.
Senior Kelly Boyd (Baltimore, Md.), junior Posey Valis (Baltimore, Md.), sophomore Kasey Behr (Northport, N.Y.) and freshman Maggie Jackson (Alexandria, Va.) each scored two goals for UVA. Junior Besser Dyson (Alexandria, Va.) and senior Mary Alati (Glen Ridge, N.J.) netted one goal apiece.
Dyson also added three assists running the offense behind the goal, while Behr and Alati each had one. Defensively, Vander Kolk picked up five ground balls to go with 12 saves.
Three players finished with two goals for Northwestern. Kaleigh Craig had three points with two goals and one assist for the Wildcats.
Key for Virginia's win, Northwestern attacker Selena Lasota was held to two goals. In fact, no one scored more than two goals in Saturday's matchup. (Cecil Copeland)
Northwestern got on the board first with a goal at the 25:30 mark in the first half, but UVA tied it up quickly after Dyson found Valis for her first score of the game. The Cavaliers then took their first lead when Dyson score off an assist from Behr with 23:16 to play in the first.
Two-straight goals put the Wildcats back in front, 3-2, but Virginia responded with three consecutive goals. Jackson netted the first goal of her career to start the run, as Behr followed with a free position goal and Valis notched her second goal with 12 seconds remaining in the half.
Out of the break, Northwestern came out quickly with back-to-back goals to tie the game at 5-5 with 26:18 remaining. UVA responded again with another goal for Jackson followed by the first of Boyd's two second-half goals. Northwestern cut the lead to one, but would not get any closer with another three-goal run for the Cavaliers.
Behr scored another free position attempt after a foul by Northwestern, and then Mary Alatifound an open goal to give UVA a 9-6 lead with 8:43 to play. Dyson eluded a defender to find Boyd who connected on a goal to put UVA up 10-6 with 6:10 left on the clock. Northwestern scored two goals, but Virginia's defense kept them scoreless for the remaining four minutes of the game to secure the win.
Northwestern had the edge in ground balls (27-24) and UVA committed 18 turnovers to 17 for the Wildcats.
The victory was the first for Virginia against Northwestern since the 2004 season and the first season opening win since 2013.
Virginia will remain on the road next weekend as it takes on Princeton on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 12 p.m. The Cavaliers will play their home opener on Wednesday, Feb. 24 when they host Richmond at 5 p.m. in Klöckner Stadium.
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