OT goal lifts #7 UVa. in NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament
Tewaaraton finalist Steele Stanwick found Matt White for the game-winning goal with 2:33 left in overtime to push the No. 7 seeded Virginia Cavaliers (10-5) over the unseeded Bucknell Bison (14-3) on Sunday, 13-12, inside Klöckner Stadium in the NCAA Tournament first round.
Virginia now advances to the quarterfinal round in Hempstead, N.Y., and will face the No. 2 seeded Cornell Big Red at a time to be determined on Saturday. The game will be televised in HD on ESPN2.
“I’m not big fan of using the word character to define what you do on an athletic field, but I think we demonstrated some determination today,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “We had a little fighting spirit when we had to have it. There are some games that are going to stay with you for a long time and this is one of them. Bucknell was a great opponent and we certainly had plenty of opportunity to pack our bags, but I never thought we were going to stop playing. I didn’t know if we were going to have enough time there in the end but I personally felt it and I could feel it in the huddles.”
With the win, Starsia now owns 326 career victories, tying hime with Jack Emmer (326) for most victories by a head coach while at a NCAA Division I school.
UVa goalie Adam Ghitelman registered his 47th career win between the pipes, tying former Syracuse goalie Jay Pfeifer (2002-05) for No. 4 all-time in NCAA Division I history.
The game’s final sequence started with Bucknell winning the faceoff in overtime and setting up the offense. Bucknell’s Billy Eisenreich started to slip on his dodge near midfield, as that transpired UVa’s Blake Riley checked the ball loose. Riley picked up the ground ball and the transition was on. Stanwick got the ball behind the cage and then roll dodged to his right, and immediately found White who scored between the legs of Bucknell’s goalie Kyle Feeney for the win. It is UVa’s third overtime win this season. Stanwick scored the winning goals against Stony Brook and North Carolina earlier this season.
Bucknell started the game on a 4-1 run in the first quarter. After Chris Bocklet scored the first of his five goals to start things off, the Bison rolled off four straight goals, capped by Nick Gantsoudes score at 5:06 in the first stanza.
The Cavaliers took a 5-2 advantage in second quarter scoring, tying the game at halftime at 6-6. UVa received goals from Matt Kugler, Rob Emery and Colin Briggs, before Bocklet capped the half with back-to-back goals.
The Bison had the largest lead of the game after the intermission, scoring the first four goals and staking Bucknell to a 10-6 advantage. Charlie Streep scored three straight goals, followed by a Todd Heritage score, capping the run for Bucknell.
Virginia cut its deficit down to two goals, 10-8, after goals by Stanwick and White with 11:34 left in the fourth quarter. Heritage scored again in a melee for a ground ball in front of the crease, giving Bucknell an 11-8 lead with 8:04 left in the fourth period.
Bocklet scored back-to-back goals, bringing UVa within one goal, 11-10. Peter Burke extended the Bison advantage back two goals, 12-10, with his score with 4:00 left on the clock. Then it was all UVa. Stanwick scored unassisted and again on a Chris LaPierre pass to even the game at 12-12.
Virginia had an extra-man chance in the closing minutes, but Bucknell held strong, forcing overtime and the exciting sudden death victory for Virginia.
Stanwick tied his career highs with eight points and five assists. This marks the third straight season Stanwick has registered at least five assists in an NCAA Tournament game. He tallied five against Johns Hopkins in the 2009 quarterfinals and another five against Mount St. Mary’s in the 2010 first round.
With the five goals, Bocklet owns the NCAA’s longest active goal scoring streak at 33 games. With 11 saves Ghitelman passes Rodney Rullman (1972-75) for No. 2 on UVa’s all-time list for career saves with 554. He trails only Tillman Johnson (700).
Bucknell outshot UVa 47-30, while also winning the faceoffs (15-14). Virginia won the ground ball battle, 32-31.
The Bison were led by Streep and Heritage, who each had three goals in the losing effort.
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