Ryan Lukacovic scored a career-high nine points and Joe French added a career-high six more points as the No. 8 Virginia Cavaliers cruised to a 21-3 victory Monday night at Klöckner Stadium over the VMI Keydets.
With the win, the Cavaliers improve to 8-2 on the season, while VMI falls to 1-9.
Twelve different Cavaliers scored at least one point and four different UVa players recorded hat tricks, including James Pannell who only played the first quarter.
“There are two things we wanted from the game today,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia. “One is that we needed to be sharp. We haven’t been that sharp so far this year and we needed this to be a good day for us overall. Right from the get go, I thought we were very sharp. We were getting the ground balls and making the extra pass. Two, what we wanted was to be able to get some guys off the bench and onto the playing field in a game situation.”
About 48 hours removed from the Virginia’s 11-10 overtime win against Johns Hopkins, UVa was able to use 27 players off the bench. The Cavalier starters saw their only action in the first quarter when UVa outscored VMI 9-0 and limited the Keydets to one shot, which came in the final seconds of the period.
UVa opened the game on a 12-0. Ryan Tucker began the offensive outpour with a goal at 13:53, assisted from Owen Van Arsdale. Pannell found the back of the net 21 seconds later, his first of three goals on the day. AJ Fish capped the run with his first career goal on a Tyler German helper at 9:37 in the second quarter. Fish’s score came on UVa’s only extra-man situation of the night.
Virginia opened the second half with a 7-0 run, including three scores from French. French earned his most extensive minutes of the season and finished with four goals and two assists, both career highs.
“We’ve played so many close games that we have not had the chance to substitute earlier in the year, so it was nice that we were able to get everyone in the game early for some good minutes,” Starsia added.
The 18-goal win for UVa was it largest since beating VMI by 19 goals in the 2008 meeting.
Virginia returns to action on Sunday when the Cavaliers return to ACC play at No. 4 Maryland. Faceoff with the Terrapins is set for noon and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
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