March 3, 2007
Baltimore, MD - Playing before a record NCAA regular-season crowd of 20,180, the 10th-ranked Virginia men's lacrosse team rallied to defeat No. 11 Syracuse 11-8 to improve to 2-1 this season. After a high-scoring first quarter the Virginia defense allowed just two goals in the final 45 minutes and the offense scored the final four goals of the game to allow the Cavaliers to pick up their fourth straight win against the Orange. The series between the two lacrosse powerhouses is now even at 11 wins each.
The match was part of the Inside Lacrosse Face-off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. In the first game of the day, Johns Hopkins upended top-ranked Princeton 7-6 in double overtime. The NCAA Championships will take place at the site on Memorial Day weekend.
Virginia took the early lead by scored three goals in the opening five minutes before Syracuse could manage its first possession. The Orange then responded with its own four-goal run to grab a 4-3 lead. Those scoring runs by each team would continue throughout the contest. Virginia stopped Syracuse's momentum with back-to-back goals to retake the lead at 5-4. Syracuse tallied twice to close out the opening period to lead 6-5 and then scored to open the second period to lead by two goals.
The match looked like a replay of the 1997 classic between the two teams that ended in a 22-21 Cavalier win but the pace eventually slowed.
"I thought it was a terrific day for lacrosse," said Virginia coach Dom Starsia. "It was two good teams getting after it. There was a lot of nervous energy early. I thought it was going to be 22-21 again, but we settled down on defense, particularly in the second quarter. Kip Turner's play in goal and the overall play of the defense in the second half was the key.
Trailing 7-5, Ben Rubeor and Drew Thompson scored second-quarter goals to allow the Cavaliers to tie the game by halftime. Kenny Mims scored an extra-man goal 10 minutes into the second half to give Syracuse its final lead at 8-7. Rubeor, who finished with three goals and two assists, tied the match back up one minute later and then Foster Gilbert scored with 3:11 left in the third quarter in what proved to be the game-winning tally. Danny Gladding added a goal in the final minute of the third quarter and Thompson scored the only goal in the fourth quarter to top off UVa's 11-8 win.
After a rough first quarter, Turner settled down in goal and spearheaded a stout Virginia defense. He finished with 12 saves, all in the final 45 minutes. Adam Fassnacht controlled the faceoff circle by winning 12 of 16 attempts. Syracuse outshot the Cavaliers 37-28.
The Cavaliers host VMI Monday at 7 p.m. in their next game.
Virginia (2-1) vs. Syracuse (1-2)
Score by Period 1 2 3 4 Tot Virginia............ 5 2 3 1 - 11 Syracuse............ 6 1 1 0 - 8
Virginia Scoring: GOALS: Ben Rubeor 3; Garrett Billings 2; Drew Thompson 2; Danny Glading 1; Brian Carroll 1; Steve Giannone 1; Foster Gilbert 1. ASSISTS: Ben Rubeor 2; Garrett Billings 1; Danny Glading 1.
Syracuse Scoring: GOALS: ROMMEL, Greg 2; NIEWIEROSKI, Greg 2; NIMS, Kenny 1; HARDY, Dan 1; ABBOTT, Matt 1; PERRITT, Patrick 1. ASSISTS: LEVEILLE, Mike 2; NIMS, Kenny 2.
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