Cavs rally falls short in lax quarters
Steele Stanwick tallied seven points, but it wasn’t enough as the No. 5 seeded Virginia Cavaliers (12-4) are eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by the No. 4 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish (13-2) on Sunday, 12-10, inside PPL Park. It is the first time UVa has lost in the NCAA Quarterfinal round since 1998 and the Cavaliers fail to make the semifinal round for the first time since the 2007 season.
Stanwick concludes his illustrious career with 269 career points, tying him with Hartford’s Brian LaMastro (1999-02) for No. 18 all-time in NCAA Division I history. The seven points also give Stanwick 57 for his career in the NCAA Tournament, breaking the UVa record of 52 held by Tim Whiteley.
With his five assists, Stanwick finished the season with 51, becoming only the second Cavalier reach the 50-assist plateau in a season. Jay Connor had 58 during UVa’s 1972 NCAA title season. Stanwick also finishes the season with 80 points, registering No. 2 all-time at UVa for a season, just behind Doug Knight’s 86 in the 1996 season.
“Great credit to Notre Dame for a hard-fought win,” said UVa men’s lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia. “They certainly deserved to win today. I thought they played really well and I thought it was a really good lacrosse game on both sides. It kind of epitomized our season in a lot of different ways. We were just a little bit off – we had opportunities to get goals and take a lead and we just couldn’t get the ball in.”
Notre Dame started out with back-to-back unassisted goals by Max Pfeifer and Conor Doyle. Matt White found Colin Briggs at 10:30 in the first quarter to give UVa its first dent in the scoreboard, cutting the deficit to one goal, 2-1.
Pfeifer eventually found Westy Hopkins at the 4:24 mark, giving Notre Dame back a two-goal lead, 3-1.
UVa reeled off a 3-0 run to take a 4-3 lead, its only advantage of the game. Stanwick found Bocklet, for the 48th and final time of the duo’s storied connection, starting the run with 3:38 left in the first quarter. Rob Emery scored back-to-back goals, the second on a Stanwick helper with 9:08 left in the second quarter.
The Cavaliers almost made it a two-goal lead, but on a screen Matt Kugler fell into the crease after contact with a Notre Dame defender, nullifying a Stanwick goal. The tides immediately turned in Notre Dame’s favor as the Irish scored three goals in a row to enter the intermission with a 6-4 advantage. Pfeifer, Sean Rogers and Steve Murphy all scored during the run.
UVa held Notre Dame scoreless in the third quarter and scored two goals of its own to tie the game, 6-6, heading into the final frame. Bocklet scored on a Pat Harbeson helper at 4:26 in the third quarter. The goal pushed Bocklet past Ben Rubeor for No. 5 all-time at UVa in goals. Bocklet finishes his career with 137 scores.
Own Van Arsdale ripped a goal on a Stanwick pass to tie the game at 6-6 with 2:10 left in the third quarter. Off the opening faceoff for the fourth quarter, Notre Dame’s Bobby Smith picked the ball up in an unsettled situation and tallied a score at 14:42, giving the Irish a 7-6 lead. UVa bounced right back when Chris LaPierre picked up the ground ball on the ensuing faceoff and found Stanwick for the score with 14:31 left in the game, tying the game at 7-7.
Notre Dame proceeded to go on a 5-1 run, storming out to a 12-8 advantage with 1:36 remaining in the game. Over a 20 second span UVa scored goals by White and Stanwick, but it wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers lose by two, 12-10.
UVa won the shots battle (38-35) and had fewer turnovers (11-13), while Notre Dame won the ground ball battle (34-31). UVa and Notre Dame tied on faceoffs (13-13).