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May 19, 2002

Video Highlights and Postgame Comments

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BALTIMORE, Md. – Freshman Johnny Christmas scored the game-winning goal with 3:59 remaining, but it was senior Conor Gill’s one goal and record nine assists that led the third-seeded Virginia Cavaliers to an 11-10 win over sixth-seeded Cornell in front of 7,468 fans in the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field Sunday afternoon.

Gill, whose nine assists were one better than the previous record of eight set twice previously, had a hand in the first 10 goals Virginia scored. He assisted on all five goals in a 5-0 Virginia run that turned a 3-3 game into an 8-3 Cavalier advantage. After feeding A.J. Shannon to put Virginia up 4-3 with 5:14 remaining in the second quarter, he assisted on back-to-back goals by freshman Joe Yevoli in the final 1:13 of the period to stake the Cavaliers to a 6-3 halftime lead.

Billy Glading and Chris Rotelli both scored in the first four minutes of the third quarter off assists from Gill to make it 8-3. Cornell trimmed the lead to 8-6 by the end of the third quarter as Scott Lee, Ian Rosenberger and Ryan McClay all scored within a span of just 1:01 midway through the period.

After Cornell’s J.P. Schalk and Rotelli traded goals to make it 9-7 Virginia, Cornell tied the game at 9-9 on back-to-back goals by Billy Fort in a span of just 47 seconds with still more than 10 minutes to play.

Rotelli gave the Cavaliers a 10-9 lead with his third goal of the game off an assist from Gill, but Sean Greenhalgh’s second goal of the game tied it at 10-10 just 41 seconds later.

Both teams had chances over the next two minutes, but Yevoli shook free behind the goal and found Christmas on the doorstep for quick one-timer to account for the game-winner. Cornell had several opportunities to tie the game late, but Virginia held on to advance to the semifinals next week against Syracuse.

After McClay opened the scoring just 11 seconds into the game with a goal off the opening faceoff, the Cavaliers buckeled down and held the Big Red scoreless for the next 15:49. A Gill goal at the 12:03 mark of the first quarter tied the game and he assisted on back-to-back goals by Yevoli late in the first quarter and early in the second to put UVa up 3-1. Galen Beers and Greenhalgh scored in a span of just 1:49 to tie the game at 3-3, setting the stage for Virginia’s 5-0 run.

Gill’s 10 points led the way for Virginia, which also got four goals and one assist from Yevoli and three goals from Rotelli. Sophomore Tillman Johnson registered 10 saves in goal for the Cavaliers, who held a 35-31 advantage in shots, but lost the ground ball war, 46-43 and won just 9-of-25 faceoffs.

Cornell was led by McClay, Greenhalgh and Fort, who all tallied two goals, while senior Justin Cynar registered 10 saves in goal for the Big Red. Fort added an assist, while Schalk had one goal and one assist to his credit.

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