Big Second Half Lifts Wildcats over Cavaliers

The No. 11 Virginia women’s lacrosse team held a one-point lead at halftime, but a strong second half propelled No. 4 Northwestern to an 11-6 victory Sunday night at Klöckner Stadium.

Virginia used fast-break opportunities to jump out to a 3-0 lead before Northwestern scored its first goal of the game with 21:57 left in the first half. The Cavaliers took a 4-3 lead into the halftime break.

Erin Fitzgerald, the Wildcats’ leading scorer, tied the game three minutes into the second half, but Ashlee Warner put Virginia back ahead, 5-4, after getting a pass from Morgan Stephens with 26:13 left in the game.

Northwestern scored five unanswered goals to take a 9-5 lead, and went on to win 11-6.

"They started stopping the fast-break a little bit better, and our attackers got a little bit tighter," said Cavaliers head coach Julie Myers. "I thought the first half though, pretty happy with our performance, pretty happy with our effort. Northwestern is a great team and they just chipped away and won a few more draw controls and won a few more loose balls, and were really able to score on the offensive end."

"As soon as the second half came we all got tight," said sophomore midfielder Courtney Swan. "We're just a very inexperienced offense and it's kind of hard, we get tight in big games, because we know we can win."

Northwestern outshot Virginia 21-14 including taking 13 shots to the Cavaliers’ seven in the second half. The Wildcats were 7-4 on draw controls in the second period.

With the victory, Northwestern improves to 11-1 and has now won each of the last seven meetings between the two teams. Virginia falls to 7-7 on the season.

The Cavaliers will be back in action on Thursday, April 11 when they host Johns Hopkins at 7 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium. They close out the regular season with a home game on Wednesday, April 17 against Virginia Tech, also at 7 p.m.

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