Virginia's Ian Laviano (3) is checked by two Robert Morris defenders during play against Robert Morris in the first round of the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday. Virginia kept the offensive pressure on throughout the game to hold a steady lead.

Virginia’s Mikey Herring started playing varsity lacrosse in the eighth grade. He’s the son of a lacrosse coach and on Saturday, he played in his 56th career game as a Cavalier.

There isn’t much Herring hasn’t seen on a lacrosse field, but he experienced something new on Saturday.

An NCAA Tournament win.

Herring was one of three Cavaliers who already had a hat trick by the third quarter of Saturday’s tournament opener at Klockner Stadium and he finished with a career-high six goals as No. 3 seed Virginia cruised past Robert Morris, 19-10.

Virginia (14-3) advanced to next weekend’s NCAA quarterfinals in Hempstead, New York, against the winner of Sunday’s game between No. 6 Towson and Maryland.

The victory snapped Virginia’s four-game losing streak in NCAA Tournament games, dating back to 2012, which was Herring’s freshman year of high school.

Herring’s veteran savvy showed up on his first goal. After moving a pass to the middle of the field, he faked like he was going to set a screen, slipped behind the defense and patiently waited. Matt Moore found him with a pinpoint pass, Herring one-timed it into the net and the Cavaliers were off and running with a 3-0 lead.

Virginia senior Ryan Conrad also put up a career-high five goals. Like Herring, his long wait for an NCAA Tournament win also ended on Saturday.

Michael Kraus finished with three goals and three assists, and Moore chipped in with two goals and seven assists. Moore broke his own career record of six assists, which was set earlier this season in a win at North Carolina. His nine points also tied the Cavaliers’ season high, set by Xander Dickson against VMI.

Virginia went into halftime with a 9-5 lead thanks in large part to a blast from the past. Faceoff specialist Justin Schwenk joined the team last spring after transferring from Monmouth and set UVa’s program record for faceoff wins in a season.

Schwenk was basically replaced on the faceoff X this season by freshman Petey LaSalla, but the wily veteran showed up on Saturday. Schwenk won 10-of-12 faceoffs in the first have and finished the game 22-of-28.

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Ron Counts covers University of Virginia athletics for The Daily Progress.​ Contact him at, (434) 978-7245, or on Twitter @Ron_CDPsports.

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