NCAA Virginia Yale Lacrosse

Virginia players celebrate after defeating Yale in the NCAA men’s lacrosse championship game Monday in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA — There was no question about the task facing Virginia in Monday’s NCAA men’s lacrosse final after the Cavaliers reviewed film of Yale’s semifinal victory over top-seeded Penn State.

The Cavaliers didn’t want to play the Bulldogs’ run-and-gun style, nor did they. It was the right plan, as UVa won 13-9.

“They held the ball for every shot clock,” Yale coach Andy Shay said. “It got very frustrating and wore on us.”

Yale, which ranked second in Division I in scoring during the 2019 season with nearly 16 goals per game, scored 10 times in the first quarter Saturday in its 21-17 victory over Penn State.

At the end of the first quarter Monday, Yale had one goal and was trailing 2-1.

The Cavaliers built their lead to 6-2 at the half and led by as many as seven at 11-4 and 12-5.

Yale came into the game boasting one of the nation’s premier faceoff specialists in TD Ierlan and he was everything as advertised, as the Bulldogs dominated that statistic 19-6.

UVa had the best of the play in goal, with Alex Rode registering 13 saves, compared to nine for Yale.

“It was a fantastic performance by Alex Rode,” UVa coach Lars Tiffany said. “Early on, our defense was still getting settled in, trying to figure out who Yale is.

“With one day to prepare for a team and not much film to watch, it’s a difficult scout. Alex made some big saves to cover up defensive mistakes.”

Looking ahead, Virginia appears to have a good chance of entering the 2020 season as the nation’s top-ranked team as it returns its starting goalie, two starting defensemen, its faceoff specialist and its top four scorers.

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