Virginia easily wins home opener
Cavaliers score 10 consecutive goals to rout in-state foes
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Steele Stanwick scored two goals and dished out five assists as No. 1 Virginia (2-0) won its home opener for the fifth consecutive year, defeating VMI 19-5 on Tuesday evening inside Klöckner Stadium. Virginia now owns a 19-0 all-time record against the Keydets (0-3).
"I thought we played hard and were sharper with the ball," Virginia head coach Dom Starsia said. "It was really the first time we were able to do that since we started in January. It was certainly nice to get guys off the bench and on the field in a game situation. As a team, it helped us quite a bit. As we move forward, we understand that we will have to communicate better. This game is a great step forward."
Drew Leonard put VMI up just 1:05 into the game on a pass from Keith Long. UVa tied the game at 8:17 in the first quarter on Stanwick's first goal, unassisted. The senior's score started a 6-0 run which was capped by a Chris Bocklet goal with 22 seconds to go in the first.
Virginia proceeded to put the game away courtesy of a 12-2 run, which included 10 consecutive goals, capped by Matt Cockerton's first goal of the year on Carl Walrath's first collegiate assist at the 5:18 mark in the third quarter. Matt Cockerton scored two goals and his brother Mark added three scores. The Cockerton brothers have now each scored goals in the same game three times. In 2011, they both scored against Mount St. Mary's (Feb. 22) and VMI (Feb. 28).
Virginia won the battle in shots (45-27) and ground balls (37-30), while VMI took the faceoff battle (20-8). UVa was a perfect 20-of-20 on clears, while VMI was 12-of-17. Longstick midfield Chris Clements had four caused turnovers, two ground balls and scored his first career goal with a pole and it was his first goal since Feb. 21, 2009 at Stony Brook.
Seven Cavaliers made their collegiate debut against VMI: Carl Walrath, Austin Geisler, Davi Sacco, Taylor Michel, Tanner Ottenbreit, Albert Kammler and Rhody Heller.
Stanwick led all scorers with seven points after being held scoreless for only the fourth time in his career in the season opener.
"I don't think it mattered a great deal to him that he didn't score in the last game," Starsia said. "I think he was ready to play tonight and we're always going to take our cue from him. With him flying around on offense the way he is, it triggers us on offense in every way."