RICHMOND – James Pannell led all scorers with four goals as the No. 7 Virginia men's lacrosse team defeated Richmond, 13-12, on Saturday afternoon in front of 4,249 at Robins Stadium.
It was the first-ever game for the Richmond men’s lacrosse program.
“We are pleased and proud to be able to be a part of Richmond’s first game,” Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. “I thought it was a great atmosphere and setting for a game.”
Virginia (2-0) started the game strong, jumping out to a 6-2 lead, but Richmond (0-1) scored seven unanswered goals to take the lead. The run helped the Spiders head into the intermission with a 9-8 advantage.
“We were a little sleepy early in the game and I would have liked to see us come out and be a little more alert,” Starsia said. “Richmond, who was playing with a lot of enthusiasm, was able to come out and jump on a bunch of things. It seemed like a lot of their opportunities came off restarts, second chances and offensive rebounds. Generally that is a sign of overall alertness. I think on that ledger, Richmond had an advantage. We battled, we fought and I am not going to turn my nose up at a 2-0 start for us. I am happy to get this one behind us.”
During UVa’s opening run, Zach Wood and Ryan Lukacovic scored their the first collegiate goals. Mark Cockerton scored an extra-man goal with 1:06 left in the first period to give UVa the 6-2 lead. UVa did not score again for the next 12:25 as Richmond reeled off seven straight goals.
"Once we got our pre-game jitters out, the offense saw that ‘Hey, some of this stuff works,’" said Richmond coach Dan Chemotti, the former offensive coordinator at Loyola, Virginia's season-opening opponent.
Cockerton broke the scoring hiatus for UVa with his second goal with 1:26 to go in the second quarter. The Cavaliers won the ensuing faceoff courtesy of Mick Parks, which led to a Tyler German goal with 7.7 seconds left in the first half, bringing Virginia to within a goal at halftime.
Richmond started the second half scoring with an unassisted goal from Mitchell Goldberg 17 seconds into the third period. Richmond did not score again for the next 17:49 as UVa went on a 3-0 run to take an 11-10 advantage. Greg Coholan, German and Pannell each scored their second goals during the spurt that ended the third period.
Alex Hatem brought Richmond even at 11-11 on a goal assisted by Cory Palmer with 12:04 left in the game. Virginia wasted no time taking the lead back for good five seconds later when Parks won the ensuing faceoff and found Pannell for a score, giving UVa a 12-11 lead. Pannell scored again on a Rob Emery helper with 7:54 left to give the Cavaliers a 13-11 lead. Richmond inched closer at 7:44 on a Michael Burns goal, but would not get any close as Virginia held on for the one-goal victory.
Virginia won the battle of shots (46-24), ground balls (43-31), while faceoffs were a draw (14-14). Richmond made 14 saves in the cage to UVa’s five.
Pannell had one assist to go along with his four goals, while Cockerton, Coholan and German all had two goals for Virginia. Goldberg led Richmond with three goals and two assists. Dan Ginestro earned the honor of scoring the first goal in Richmond men’s lacrosse program history.
"We didn’t know what to expect, really, especially coming out here against Virginia," said Mitch Goldberg, who scored three goals and is one of 22 freshmen on Richmond’s 36-man roster. "But I think we handled ourselves well."