The UVa women’s lacrosse team held off a late charge by Princeton for a 9-7 win Saturday at Klöckner Stadium.
"Having come through so many of the top-10s already, I think our backs have been against the wall before, and we finally had a chance to respond to it, and we did it today," said head coach Julie Myers. "We knew it was going to serve us well. Princeton hasn't played quite as many games or as tough a schedule, and I think that kind of hurt them a little bit down the stretch."
UVa jumped out to a quick lead on a goal by Morgan Stephens in the first 20 seconds. Virginia added two goals in the last 10 minutes of the first half, and led 6-2 at the break.
The Cavaliers struck quickly in the second half, when Casey Bocklet scored her team-leading 23rd goal of the seasonto make it 7-2.
Down 4, Princeton scored two goals in three-minutes to cut the Cavalier's lead to two.
"As Princeton was coming back in the second half, I think you can't help but wonder, 'is this going to happen again?' said Myers. "But I think our girls were pretty resilient and they all believed, as well as the coaches, and we're like 'not this time, not here.'"
With less than 10 minutes to play, junior Ashlee Warner added an insurance goal to give UVa a 9-6 lead. Princeton would score once more, but the Cavaliers held on for the 9-7 win.
Junior Dana Boyle said the close games and tough losses UVa has been through already helped them renew their focus when preparing for Princeton.
"I think we recognized how good we actually are as a team and pulling together will really help us get those wins, and that's what we did from here on out," said Boyle. "William & Mary and now Princeton, and then next week JMU is huge for us."
With the win, Virginia improves to 4-4 overall. The Cavaliers face James Madison on Wednesday at JMU, and then returns home to host No. 6 Duke on Saturday at 1 p.m.