Concannon Helps U.S. Hold Off Virginia in Fall Classic

PHOTO BY SAM BRETTSCHNEIDER

Jack Concannon made seven second half saves as the U.S. team downed Virginia 11-6 at the Fall Classic.


BOX SCORE

SPARKS, Md. — After Dox Aitken opened the second half scoring to pull Virginia within a goal of the U.S. men’s national team, everything seemed ready for the game to turn the Cavaliers way.

U.S. goalie Jack Concannon had other ideas.

Concannon made four saves in the third quarter to keep the Cavaliers at bay and then Jules Heningburg scored late in the period to ignite a five-goal run as the U.S. pulled away for an 11-6 victory over the reigning NCAA champions.

“We got some really good looks and when it felt like we were ready to tilt that game in our favor, which we had done a lot last year — gaining that momentum and rolling — we just couldn’t crack the goalie,” said Virginia head coach Lars Tiffany. “He stymied any type of rally we thought we were going to get going.”

Concannon made his debut with the U.S. team at the Fall Classic last year after finishing up his senior year at Hofstra and getting a taste of pro lacrosse with the Florida Launch in Major League Lacrosse.

He came to Fall Classic a much more polished and confident goalie this year after starting for Atlas in the Premier Lacrosse League this summer.

“Just watching him go into the PLL and play the way he did, it was pretty special for me,” said Seth Tierney, an assistant coach for the U.S. team and his college coach at Hofstra. “Today, he made some pretty good saves.”

Concannon finished the game with seven saves while allowing just two goals in 30 minutes of action. That followed up a five-save effort in the U.S. team’s 7-6 win over Canada on Friday night.







Concannon aims to remain in the mix as the U.S. builds towards the 2022 world championship.

“I see it as the highest level of lacrosse,” Concannon said. “Growing up you dream of getting to play for Team USA.”

The weekend sweep for Team USA featured a number of new faces. Only six of the 27 players that suited up for the U.S. team this weekend were on the gold-medal winning 2018 team.

“It’s a new group this year compared to last year,” Concannon said. “I think we took a step from last night’s game until today. It takes some time to mesh.”

After needing a dramatic fourth quarter rally to win on Friday night, the U.S. came firing out of the gates on Saturday. The U.S. scored three goals in the opening five minutes of the game and never trailed in the contest.

Heningburg, Marcus Holman and Brent Adams each scored twice for the U.S. squad and Connor Kelly had a pair of assists. Defenders Garrett Epple and Jarrod Neumann each scored for the U.S.

Aitken led Virginia with two goals and Michael Kraus had a goal and two assists.

Canada 16, Virginia 10

BOX SCORE

Less than an hour after playing the U.S. team, Virginia turned around and played Canada, jumping out to an 8-5 halftime lead before Canada dominated the second half in a 16-10 victory.

“I’m grateful and thankful for our men at returning to a peak energy and excitement level after they had just taken on the gold-medal champion Team USA,” Tiffany said. “I’m really grateful we were able to come out flying against a team that hadn’t played a game yet.”

Matt Moore had three goals and an assist in the first half to stake Virginia to the lead, but Canada’s Ryan Lee was too much. Lee scored six goals, four of them in the second half, to lead the Canadian victory.

Lee scored back-to-back goals to tie the game 8-8 with 6:55 left in the third quarter. Dox Aitken scored just 37 seconds later to give UVa its final lead of the game, but Canada then scored six straight goals — two by Lee — to put the game away.

 

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