UVa Snaps Losing Streak With Resounding Triumph Over Bellarmine, 12-7

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Rob Emery

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Rob Emery
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

April 20, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Mark Cockerton scored four goals and Rob Emery added three tallies of his own, as the Virginia Cavaliers (6-7) halted their six-games losing streak on Saturday afternoon, 12-7, over the Bellarmine Knights (7-5) at Klöckner Stadium. Virginia's most recent victory came against Vermont on March 5 before the Cavaliers matched the program's longest slide since a string of setbacks that transpired over the 1965 and 1966 seasons. The six losses in a row also matched the most in season since losing all eight games during the 1939 season.

Virginia's five-goal win is the largest margin of victory any team has had over Bellarmine this season and UVa's 12 goals are the most given up by the Knights and goalie Dillon Ward, who entered the game as the nation's leader in save percentage (.688).

"As the game went on, you could see us gaining more confidence," said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. "Later in the game we started to bang the ball around more. There was no doubt that we were tight coming in with everything going on - the kids knew what was at stake here. We needed to loosen up a little as the game went on, which we did. Thank goodness for that. I'm really happy for the players that get a little break from what's been a bit of an ordeal in the last few weeks. Now we go into next weekend with a shot at it, and that's all you can ask for."

Tyler German set the table for Virginia winning 14-of-21 faceoffs for the Cavaliers in place of Mick Parks, who missed the game while attending a funeral in Illinois. German was 6-of-6 in the third quarter, a crucial stretch in the game where Virginia extended a one-goal halftime lead into a three-goal advantage, 8-5.

Cockerton started things for the Cavaliers with a goal at the 9:42 mark to give UVa the early 1-0 lead.  Bellarmine answered back scoring at 6:28 on a Ryan Scinta goal and again with five seconds left on an unassisted goal by Karsen Leung.  Bellarmine ended the first period with a 2-1 advantage, its only lead of the game.

Virginia outscored Bellarmine 3-1 in the second frame to enter intermission with a 4-3 lead.  Bobby Hill started things with a goal on a Nick O'Reilly pass with 11:00 on the clock.  Emery found nylon the other two times in the period for UVa, including capping the game's first half scoring with 35 seconds left.

The third quarter was silent until the 6:37 marker when Bellarmine's Michael Ward scored to tie the game, 4-4.  Virginia answered back with goals by Owen Van Arsdale and Cockerton, giving UVa the 6-4 lead.  Ward scored again at 2:59 to cut the Knights' deficit back down to one goal, 6-5.  Cockerton ripped a goal from about 15-yards and then Emery dodged off a swim move through two defenders to cap the third quarter scoring with three seconds left. 

Virginia entered the final stanza with a three-goal lead, 8-5, but Bellarmine got to within two goals, 8-6, when Cameron Gardner scored with 13:36. The Knights never got closer as UVa reeled off four goals in a row by Cockerton, Van Arsdale, James Pannell and Charlie Streep.  After Streep scored with 4:29 left, UVa held a 12-6 advantage and then proceeded to empty its bench.  Luke Acton of Bellarmine scored with 1:21 to finish the game's scoring, as UVa held onto the 12-7 triumph.

"There are times when the most unlikely game, win, or situation can feel like the most important or the most meaningful, and there was a little bit of that today," said Starsia. "This was a really hard week - it was a game that everybody on the outside just figured we would win, but internally we knew Bellarmine was a very good team.  With the injuries and other situations, you could talk about whether or not we were going to win some of the games in the past couple of weeks that were 50/50 games. But this is one that everyone expected us to win, and we all understood that Bellarmine was going to be a good team and a tough out. I think that amped up the pressure on everybody. On this day, today, this win feels very important."

Virginia won the shots (41-34) battle, faceoff battle (14-8) and the ground ball battle (60-33). It was the first time UVa had 60 or more ground balls in a game since picking up 63 against VMI on Feb. 28, 2011. Rhody Heller was stellar in the goal with 10 saves and allowing only six goals, picking up his first career victory between the pipes.

Virginia returns to action on Friday in the semifinal round of the ACC Championship. The Cavaliers, seeded No. 4, will face the top-seeded Maryland Terrapins at 5 p.m., inside North Carolina's Kenan Stadium. ESPNU will televise all three games of the ACC Championship in HD.

Bellarmine         2-1-2-2-7

Virginia               1-3-4-4-12

Att-1699

Scoring (G-A) - B: Michael Ward 2-2, Luke Acton 2-0, Cameron Gardner 1-1, Karsen Leung 1-0, Ryan Scinta 1-0, Michael Bender 0-1, Will Cary 0-1. V: Mark Cockerton 4-1, Nick O'Reilly 0-4,  Rob Emery 3-0, Owen Van Arsdale 2-0, James Pannell 1-1, Charlie Streep 1-0, Bobby Hill 1-0, Pat Harbeson 0-1.

Goalie Summary - B: Dillon Ward 60:00 mins. 12 saves 12 goals allowed. V: Rhody Heller 57:45 mins. 10 saves, 6 goals allowed, Conor McGee 2:15 mins. 1 save 1 goal allowed.

Shots: B-34, V-41

Ground Balls: B-33, V-60

Clearing: B-25x25, V-23x24

Faceoffs: B-8, V-14

Penalties: B-1-1:00, V-1-0:30

EMO: B-0x1, V-0x1