Lacrosse program makes great strides in Sung's first campaign in Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech lacrosse program managed just 11 wins in its past two seasons before coach John Sung arrived on campus in late May of 2016. In just his first season at the helm, the team totaled 11 wins, matching the school record for victories in a single season.

Taking a core of returning players like captains Kristine Loscalzo and Tristan McGinley, and adding transfers Marissa Davey, Isabel Obregon and Abby Wilson, Sung was able to shape a team that played an exciting brand of lacrosse which translated to results in the win column. The 2017 season was the first time in five years that the program amassed double digit victories. The team engineered the largest jump in wins in program history going from five in 2016 to 11.

The Hokies had record-setting performances on both the offensive side of the field setting the program record for goals scored in a season and also in goal from Meagh Graham. The redshirt-junior smashed the season goals-against-record by nearly a goal-per-game and led the Hokies in ground balls.

The 2017 season began with the team jumping out to a 6-1 record through the month of February, including beating No. 17 Boston College for the program’s first ACC win in 27 tries a stretch dating back to the 2012 season. Following the victory, the Hokies entered the Inside Lacrosse poll for the first time since 2011. After an overtime setback to Elon, the Hokies rattled off five-straight victories including an 11-6 triumph over No. 10 Duke and ascended in the polls up to No. 12, the highest ranking in program history. In all, Tech was ranked for nine consecutive weeks.

Down the stretch, the team dropped its final five conference games, four of which were to ranked opponents, earning the seventh seed for the ACC Championships contested in Richmond, Virginia. In the quarterfinals, the Hokies led Syracuse midway through the second half, but gave up a 10-goal run to fall 20-13 to the Orange.

The program sees four seniors move on from lacrosse next year; Loscalzo, defender Maddy Wollmuth and attackers Tara Feehan and Colleen Ward.

Team milestones from the 2017 season:

  • Set the school record for goals in a season with 253.
  • Eclipsed the record for points in a season with 326.
  • Defeated a top-10 opponent for the first time since 2012.
  • First time beating two ranked teams in a season since 2003.
  • First season ever winning two ACC games.
  • First 11-win season since 1999.

Individual milestones from the 2017 season:

  • Loscalzo scored her 100th career point with a goal against Syracuse in the ACC Championship.
  • McGinley was the first Hokie ever to be named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list, presented annually to the most outstanding college lacrosse player.
  • McGinley also set the program record for draw controls in a season with 95.
  • Mary Claire Byrne led the ACC in caused turnovers per game with 2.18.
  • Graham set the new program record for goals against average with 9.64.

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