University of Virginia shut out University of Richmond 9-0 in a dominating defensive effort in front of a crowd of 4,037 at Robins Stadium, the second largest home attendance in Richmond lacrosse history.
Virginia was led offensively by juniors A.J. Fish, Ryan Lukacovic and sophomore Matt Emery, who all scored two goals in the contest. Matt Barrett, Virginia’s junior goaltender, was perfect in net with 12 saves.
Richmond goaltender Henry Buonagurio was solid in his second start replacing injured starter Benny Pugh, making nine saves.
Ryan Lukacovic opened the scoring for Virginia by coming from behind the net to his right and firing a sidearm shot into the top left corner of the goal. The goal just 56 seconds into the game proved to be the game winner.
Richmond’s offense looked deliberate and determined during one of its early possessions in the first quarter until Mitch Goldberg, Richmond’s leading scorer, took an awkward step and injured what appeared to be his knee at the 11:35 mark.
Goldberg’s injury and the ensuing turnover began a crippling stretch of seven turnovers in the first seven offensive possessions for the Spiders.
Goldberg would not return to the game.
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Richmond’s defense stifled Virginia and forced bad low-angle shots throughout the first half, but the Cavaliers were given many possessions courtesy of a sloppy Richmond offense.
Virginia showed its athleticism and flexed its defensive muscle with five minutes to go in the second quarter when defender Alec Webster buried freshman midfielder Adrian Nash into the turf with a physical, clean body-check.
The hit was a microcosm of Virginia’s defensive effort throughout the game.
Virginia attackmen Mike D’Amario scored off a rebound from a Buonagurio save to make it 2-0 Virginia with 2:31 left in the first quarter. Emery and Greg Coholan each recorded a goal in the second quarter to put Virginia up 4-0 going into halftime.
Richmond was fortunate to enter the second half down by only four goals. Virginia hit numerous posts in the first half and Buonagurio made two important saves in the closing minutes of the second quarter to keep the game within reach for the Spiders.
Virginia’s defense continued to assert itself and dominate in the second half, though. Richmond’s offense began the half with 2 straight turnovers and struggled to beat Virginia's men and draw double teams.
Virginia added goals from Zed Williams, Fish and Lukacovic in the third quarter to push the lead to seven going into the fourth quarter.
Fish and Emery would both score again in the fourth to cap a 9-0 victory for the Cavaliers.
Richmond will need a better offensive performance next Saturday when it plays conference foe Furman in Greenville, South Carolina, at 12 p.m.
Contact sports writer Elliot Dennis at email@example.com
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