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No. 8 Virginia Drops Season-Opener 13-12 to No. 4 Northwestern

Liza Blue scored four goals for the Cavaliers

Feb. 9, 2014

Final Stats

KENNESAW, Ga. - The No. 8 Virginia women's lacrosse team (0-1) opened the 2014 season falling 13-12 to No. 4 Northwestern (1-0) on Sunday (Feb. 9) in a neutral-site game at Kennesaw State University's Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.

The Wildcats' Kate Macdonald scored the game-winner off a free position shot with 16.7 seconds remaining in the game.

Senior Liza Blue (Butler, Md.) led Virginia with four goals. Junior Courtney Swan (Vero Beach, Fla.) had three goals with an assist while also winning five draws and picking up five ground balls.

Macdonald scored three goals to pace the Wildcats. Alyssa Leonard scored two goals and won 10 draws.

"It was a really exciting game to open with, one that could have gone either way, but obviously we came up on the short end of things," said Virginia head coach Julie Myers. "We have a lot to learn from it and we have a lot to feel good about. I really liked our energy. Liza Blue's four goals is a lot of goals against a good defense."

Northwestern opened the game winning the first three draws and scoring on its first three possessions, taking a 3-0 lead in the first 4:25 of the game. Virginia scored on its first possession, with senior Maddy Keeshan (Greenwich, Ct.) scoring on a feed from senior Ashlee Warner (Corning, N.Y.), the first of five-straight goals for the Cavaliers that put UVa up 5-3 with 18:47 remaining. With the two squads trading goals for the remainder of the half, Virginia took an 8-6 lead into the break.



Northwestern started the second half in a similar fashion to the first, scoring four-straight goals to take a 10-8 lead with 21:00 left in the game. A pair of goals from Blue flanking a Swan score put UVa back in the lead, 11-10, with 9:34 remaining. After Northwestern tied the game, Keeshan scored on a free position shot, her second goal of the game, to give Virginia a 12-11 lead. Northwestern retied the game a minute later.

After 7:30 of deadlock, the game seemed destined to overtime when Macdonald drew the foul call to set up the game-winning free position goal.

Northwestern won the ensuing draw, but turned the ball over with 11 seconds left in the game. Virginia turned the ball back over on a long pass into the attack zone with two seconds remaining.

Virginia outshot Northwestern 18-9 in the second period and 36-23 overall in the game. The Cavaliers had 26 ground balls to the Wildcats 19, but Northwestern dominated on the draw controls with 18 to Virginia's nine. Northwestern holds a 9-5 edge in the series and has now won each of the last eight meetings.

The Cavaliers' home opener will be on Saturday, Feb. 15 when they host No. 9 Loyola at 1 p.m. at Klockner Stadium.

Single-game reserved seats are available for all women's home games for $7. Single-game general admission adult tickets for women's home games are $5, while youth (18 and under), seniors (60 and over), and UVa faculty and staff tickets are $4 each.


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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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