#1 UVa. men’s lax tops Stony Brook
Colin Briggs scored a career-high seven points and Steele Stanwick joined the exclusive 100/100 club as the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers (3-0) topped the visiting Stony Brook Seawolves (0-2) Saturday afternoon, 12-5, inside Klöckner Stadium.
“It was a really nice day here,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “We saw in the game that we still haven’t been as sharp as we need to be, but if it comes down to effort, I like our chances overall. I don’t have any problem with that, but we’re going to need clean things up on both ends of the field. I don’t think we got the ball off as cleanly as we could, and could have scored more goals earlier in the game. Even going into the fourth quarter, I wasn’t completely comfortable. We kept working, but I would have liked to put it away a little quicker.”
Stanwick scored two goals and dished out three assists to become the third Cavalier, the seventh player in the ACC and the 44th player in the nation all-time to register 100 career goals and 100 career assists. He joins Kevin Pehlke (1990-93) and Danny Glading (2006-09) as the other Cavaliers in the club.
“It’s one of the joys of my job that I get to work with young men like Steele Stanwick,” said Starsia. “He’s a really special kid, on and off the field. It happens to be that he’s a great lacrosse player, but he’s also a great guy. I’ve been blessed with a long career filled with good guys, but Steele is on the short list of the very best guys I’ve ever been around.
“His game is just so balanced, but his greatest skill is that he makes the people around him better. For an offensive playmaker, that’s important. We work well on offense because of Steele Stanwick. Players know that if they move smartly and in a meaningful way, they know they’ll get the ball back in a better spot. He’s our trigger, and our offense is in good hands.”
On the historic day it was actually the Seawolves who jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. After Chris LaPierre was tagged with an un-releasable illegal body check, Stony Brook’s Matt Bellando’s scored an extra man goal 33 seconds into the contest. Russ Bananno followed up with a goal at 8:37, capping the streak.
The lead was short-lived as the Cavaliers scored six goals in a row to take a 6-2 advantage. Briggs scored twice and assisted three times during the run, including capping the streak on a pass to Chris Bocklet at 6:28 in the second quarter.
Stony Brook and UVa traded goals as the Cavaliers went into the intermission with a 7-3 advantage. Kyle Belton cut UVa’s lead to three goals, 7-4, when he opened the third quarter scoring at 11:38.
Stanwick scored his 100th and 101st career goals on back-to-back possessions to give UVa the 9-4 lead. Mike Rooney took a pass from Bananno with 2:13 left in the third quarter, capping Stony Brook’s scoring for the day and bringing the UVa advantage to four goals, 9-5.
UVa ended the game with three-straight goals, including two by Mark Cockerton. The game’s final score was by Cockerton, courtesy of Stanwick’s third assist of the game and the 100th of his career, pushing him into the special group of lacrosse players.
UVa goalie Rob Fortunato picked up the win inside the pipes on a career-high 14 saves. Mick Parks had a career day at faceoff, winning 11-of-16, while picking up five ground balls. LaPierre was a force on the field, picking up a team-best six ground balls.
UVa won the shots battle (37-35), ground balls (35-31) and faceoffs (13-8). Stony Brook had fewer turnovers (12-17) and was 2-of-5 on extra-man situations, while UVa was 0-3.
Virginia returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Mount St. Mary’s. Faceoff is set for 4 p.m.