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UVA women's lacrosse handles UConn, advances to NCAA second round against Notre Dame
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UVA women's lacrosse handles UConn, advances to NCAA second round against Notre Dame

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A two-goal loss to Notre Dame to open April left Virginia’s women’s lacrosse team confident it could beat the Fighting Irish in a rematch. Now, UVA will get its shot to do just that.

Junior midfielder Annie Dyson scored four times and junior attack Ashlyn McGovern and senior attack Taylor Regan each added three goals as the Cavaliers snapped a program-worst six-game losing streak, beating Connecticut 19-13 in an NCAA tournament first-round game between a pair of unseeded teams at Arlotta Stadium in South Bend, Ind.

“We kind of were going a little bit downhill there at the end of the season,” said Dyson. “We regrouped and refocused and we’re just super pumped to build off today’s win and get another shot at Notre Dame.”

Freshman attack Morgan Schwab had two goals and three assists for Virginia, which got scores for a season-high 11 players.

Freshman midfielder Maggie Bostain (Collegiate) had career highs with four ground balls and three forced turnovers.

UVA (9-8), appearing in its 25th straight NCAA tournament, advanced to play Notre Dame, the overall five-seed, on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Irish dominated Robert Morris 16-0 earlier Friday.

Virginia improved to 11-3 all-time against Big East opponents, decisively taking its first-ever meeting with the Huskies.

Junior attack Grace Coon scored four times for Connecticut (12-7), which got three goals from senior midfielder Sydney Watson.

UVA put a ton of pressure on UConn’s defense early, with three shots in the first 2:17, the third of which Dyson put past Huskies junior goaltender Landyn White for the game’s first goal.

Connecticut tied it, 1-1, just 43 seconds later on a free position goal by sophomore attack Kate Shaffer.

White helped keep UConn in the game early, making three big saves in the first 8:03 of the game, including one down a player with 21:57 to play and the Huskies up 4-3. She finished with 13 saves.

“She made great saves consistently,” said UVA coach Julie Myers. “Luckily we were able to get to the goal 40 different times, which is about what it took.”

Virginia went on a 3-0 run, the first two tallies coming from McGovern, and took a 6-4 lead with 18:28 left in the half.

Dyson’s third goal of the first half put UVA up 8-5 with 9:44, and the Cavaliers led 9-7 at halftime.

“When Annie’s firing on all cylinders, she’s usually the stick that everybody looks to try to feed in that middle,” said Myers. “She found herself open. She hit some really tough shots with a lot of pressure on her back.”

Dyson, Schwab and McGovern each scored a goal during a 3:18 stretch early in the second half to give Virginia a 14-10 lead with 19:43 to play. That started a 7-0 run that put the game away for the Cavaliers and set up the all-ACC second round matchup with the Irish.

Notre Dame beat Virginia 12-10 on April 3 in Charlottesville. UVA used a 5-0 run late in that game — with three of those scores coming from McGovern — to pull within one score of the Irish, down 11-10 with 6:31 to play, but couldn’t get the equalizer.

James Madison 9, Johns Hopkins 6: Charlotte Haggerty netted four goals as the Dukes advanced past the Blue Jays (8-7) in their first-round matchup in Chapel Hill, N.C.

James Madison (12-4) led by as many as six goals in the second half. Brittany Bill added a pair of scores for the Dukes.

Unseeded JMU, which won the national championship in in 2018, will face host North Carolina, the tournament’s top seed, at noon Sunday in the second round.

mbarber@timesdispatch.com

Twitter: @RTD_MikeBarber

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