#1 UVa. lax rallies at Ohio State
Overcoming a five-goal deficit, Chris Bocklet scored four goals and Ryan Tucker tallied his second career hat trick to elevate No. 1 Virginia (8-0) to an 11-9 triumph over the Ohio State Buckeyes (3-4) on Saturday afternoon, inside historic Ohio Stadium. UVa finished the final three quarters on a 10-3 run to take the victory.
“I give our kids credit for working back, and knowing we needed to be patient and knowing we were not going to get it all back on one shot,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia. “I thought after the first quarter we played hard and played pretty smart – it wasn’t a flawless performance, but was a pretty good ‘W’ on the road.”
Ohio State won 6-of-8 faceoffs in the first period to storm out to a 6-1 advantage over the Cavaliers. The Buckeyes streaked out to a 3-0 lead on unassisted goals by Jesse King, Turner Evans and Nick Liddil. After Chris Bocklet deposited his first score on a Colin Briggs pass at 8:44, Ohio State scored three-straight goals to finish the first quarter scoring.
“I thought we missed some ground balls early facing off,” said Starsia. “I thought Mick Parks gave us a little spark and then Ryan Benincasa got back in the flow of it. That certainly made a difference. With a team that likes to slow the ball as much as they did – scoring and getting the ball back on the faceoff was a frustration for us in terms of getting the ball back and into the hands of our offensive players.”
UVa bounced back and the defense held Ohio State scoreless for the next 17:41. In the process the Cavaliers scored five-straight goals, two by Bocklet, to tie the contest at 6-6 going into the intermission. All five goals during the run were assisted, as Matt White had two helpers during the run.
Ohio State scored two goals to open up the third quarter, staking themselves to a 8-6 lead on scores from Logan Schuss and Evans’ second goal.
The Cavaliers commenced a 5-0 run to storm out to their first lead, 11-8. Bocklet started the scoring with his fourth goal of the game at the 9:48 mark in the third quarter. Ryan Tucker scored back-to-back goals to give UVa its first lead of the game, 9-8, at the 12:29 mark in the fourth quarter.
A Mark Cockerton unassisted goal and a Rob Emery rocket put the game out of reach, 11-8, with 5:52 left in the game. King’s second goal of the game finished out the game’s scoring with 4:23 left in the contest, as UVa was able to run the clock down.
After winning only 2-of-8 faceoffs in the opening period, UVa went 11-of-16 the rest of the game to win the battle in the statistical category, 13-11. Ground balls were even, 31-31, as Ohio State outshot the Cavaliers, 35-31.
UVa goalie Rob Fortunato made 10 saves in the cage. Stanwick led UVa with three assists, while UVa assisted nine of its 11 goals on the afternoon.
Virginia returns to action next Saturday for the annual rivalry with the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays. Currently ranked this week No. 2 in the nation by both the media and coaches poll, Johns Hopkins and UVa will meet for the 85th time in a series that began in 1904. The Cavaliers and Blue Jays for the eighth time fight for the Doyle Smith Cup, the spoils of the regular season victor. Faceoff is set for 2 p.m. inside Klöckner Stadium and the contest will be televised on ESPNU in HD.