Overtime goal lifts No. 9 UVa
With the victory, Virginia's Starsia owns 324 career wins
With the victory, Virginia head coach Dom Starsia owns 324 career wins, needing three more to pass Jack Emmer (326) for the most triumphs while coaching at a NCAA Division I school.
UVa goalie Adam Ghitelman registered his 45th career win between the pipes, passing UMBC's Jeremy Blevins (2006-09) and tying Cornell’s Matt McMonagle (2004-07) for No. 5 all-time in NCAA Division I history.
“I changed into a different pair of pants and got a lucky haircut,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “That may have made as much of a difference as anything else. I was really proud of my team. Even if we hadn’t had the winning goal - I would have been proud of the effort overall.”
Virginia never trailed and the two teams were only tied twice, including at the end of regulation, 10-10, after Thomas Wood scored via a Jimmy Dunster pass with six seconds on the fourth-quarter clock.
UNC won the faceoff in the overtime period and managed three shots, but one was blocked and picked up by Bray Malphrus and UVa was out on the clear with 2:02 left in overtime. Virginia squeezed off a couple of shots before Stanwick went to his right around the cage. The junior from Baltimore, Md., was about to dodge back to his left when UNC defenseman Ryan Flanagan slipped and fell to ground in anticipation of the dodge. Stanwick continued around to his right and deposited the winning goal at point-blank range past UNC goalie Steven Rastivo for the win.
To start the game UVa jumped out first, scoring on a Shamel Bratton goal, assisted by Rhamel Bratton at the 10:39 mark in the first quarter. It was only the fourth time since the Brattons have been at UVa that one assisted the other on a goal and it’s the second time this season.
UNC’s Flanagan tied the game for the first tie with 9:44 left in the opening period. The odd scoring play came as Flanagan was clearing the ball and tried to make a pass up field. Ghitelman came out of the cage to make a play on the receiving attackman, but the ball whizzed past both players and into the net for the score.
Then the Cavaliers scored three consecutive goals, taking a 4-1 lead. Chris Bocklet started things by extending his nation best consecutive game goal scoring mark to 29 games, reaching the back of the cage on a Stanwick helper. Colin Briggs and Stanwick also scored during the streak.
Back-to-back goals by Michael Burns an R.G. Keenan brought the Tar Heels to within a goal just before halftime. However, Briggs dodged the Carolina defense and scored unassisted with 10 seconds remaining before the intermission, giving UVa the 5-3 lead at the break.
Billy Bitter started the second half scoring with a goal at 13:17, cutting the UNC deficit to one goal, 5-4. Rhamel Bratton answered for UVa on a Briggs pass at 9:08, pushing the Cavaliers’ lead back two goals, 6-4.
The scoring was a back-and-forth affair in the third quarter, as the period ended with UVa holding a narrow one-goal lead, 7-6. Bitter’s goal scored for UNC with two seconds left in the third quarter came after Ghitelman’s failed clear. Ghitelman was flushed out toward the sideline after picking up a ground ball and Wood intercepted the pass, before finding Bitter for an open goal score.
Rhamel Bratton came up with a big play to start the fourth quarter. While Standing in front of the crease he intercepted Wood’s pass from behind the goal, and sprinted the length of the field, dodged right and then came left with the unassisted goal at 12:49 in the fourth quarter. The score pushed UVa’s lead back to two goals, 8-6.
The goal was part of a 3-1 UVa run as the Cavaliers took a 10-7 lead. Nick O’Reilly capped the streak with an unassisted goal with 6:53 left in the game. UNC scored three consecutive goals, including the Wood score to tie the game, setting the stage for Stanwick’s second overtime game-winning goal of the year.
Briggs led UVa with his five points and three goals, while Bocklet, Rhamel Bratton and Stanwick all had two goals. Ghitelman saved 15 shots, matching his previous season best from the Syracuse game.
UNC outshot UVa (42-34), won the ground ball battle (38-33) and had less turnovers (11-17), however the Cavaliers won the faceoff battle, 12-11.
“We had a really hard week of practice,” said Starsia. “We had a lot of work to do to prepare for this game, and right from the beginning we came out and started playing hard. I never thought the game was over until it was finally over. Against teams like [North] Carolina and any team in our conference, you have to play to the very end. It turned out to be a great lacrosse game and we are happy to get the win. A loss here doesn’t devastate our season but confidence is a precious commodity for college kids and coaches too. We have some guys who have never had two losses in a row in their career here and we were reeling a little so it’s important that we got the win today.”