Virginia Women’s Lacrosse’s NCAA Championship Hopes Dashed with 16-14 Loss to Albany

The Virginia women’s lacrosse season came to a heartbreaking end on Friday night in Denver. Despite building a commanding 10-3 lead in the third quarter, the Cavaliers were unable to withstand a remarkable comeback from Albany, resulting in a 16-14 defeat in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship.

Ashlyn McGovern, Mackenzie Hoeg, and Jaime Biskup contributed goals that helped Virginia secure a 4-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Cavaliers’ defense put on a strong display in the second quarter, preventing Albany from scoring with four caused turnovers and two saves from goalie Abby Jansen. Rachel Clark scored twice, and Biskup added her third goal just before halftime, giving Virginia a 7-3 advantage.

The Cavaliers continued their dominance with three more goals at the start of the third quarter, courtesy of Morgan Schwab, Kiki Shaw, and Clark, extending their lead to 10-3.

However, Virginia’s defensive struggles resurfaced, allowing Albany’s Grace McCauley to score unassisted and ignite a remarkable turnaround for the Great Danes. Albany won the next three draw controls and embarked on a momentum-shifting run. Sarah Falk became the catalyst for Albany’s comeback, scoring seven goals in the second half. The Great Danes scored four consecutive goals and nine out of the next ten, completely altering the game’s trajectory. Two late goals from Albany made it a one-goal game heading into the final quarter.

A goal from Mackenzie Hoeg momentarily halted Albany’s surge, putting Virginia ahead 12-10. However, Albany responded with another 5-0 run, taking a 15-12 lead with less than five minutes remaining. Virginia’s Schwab assisted on goals by Kate Miller and Ashlyn McGovern, narrowing the gap to 15-14. Yet, Albany won the subsequent draw control and effectively ran

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