Virginia Advances to Final Four Following 12-7 win over Georgetown
May 18, 2003
Towson, Md. – Virginia used exceptional play on both ends of the field to defeat Georgetown 12-7 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament this Sunday in Towson, Md. The Cavaliers tied a school record with their 13th win of the season and advance to the national semifinals where they’ll face Maryland in the second semifinal game on Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium (formerly Ravens Stadium) in Baltimore.
“I am proud of our team today. I don’t think it was a work of art overall,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “There effort was always there. In someways I think the quarterfinal round is the most tension-packed round with the trip to the final four looming.”
Highlighted by the stellar play of goalie Tillman Johnson, Virginia held the Hoyas scoreless for more than 22 minutes, while using a a six-goal run during that time to break a 3-all tie early in the second quarter and seize control. Virginia got balanaced scoring throughout the afternoon as nine different players found the back of the net. During the run that tipped the game in their favor, five different Cavaliers scored.
“As long as we have one more than the other team at the end of the day” I’m happy, said Starsia. The balanced scoring today “is certainly something we look for from our team.”
John Christmas led the way for the Cavaliers with three goals. A.J. Shannon scored twice with both goals coming during the decisive six-goal run. Freshman Matt Ward added a career-high three assists, while scoring once.
Virginia jumped to an early 3-1 lead before the Hoyas drew even behind goals by Walid Hajj and Mike Hammer to close the first quarter.
Christmas scored what proved to be the winner 1:49 into the second quarter by beating goalie Rich D’Andrea off the right pipe from X. Freshman Matt Poskay scored 83 seconds later by knocking in a Christmas miss that hit the pipe. Shannon scored his first of the day at the 8:00 mark and Nathan Kenney closed the first half scoring 3:37 before halftime to build a 7-3 lead at the break.
“At halftime I felt we could defend them, especially from the midfield,” said Starsia. “We seemed on top of things and always a step ahead, even when we gave up a couple of goals.”
Freshman midfielder Kyle Dixon opened the second half scoring 1:29 after halftime and Shannon got his second on an extra-man situation as the lead grew to 9-3, the biggest of the afternoon.
The Hoyas used a mini-run as Dave Paolisso scored his first of the season midway through the third quarter. On the ensuing faceoff Andy Corno controlled the ball and passed quickly to Brodie Merrill who scored his first goal of the season nine seconds later to cut the lead to 9-5, but that’s as close as the Hoyas would get.
Christmas and classmate Joe Yevoli scored back-to-back goals as the lead grew to six at 11-5. Georgetown’s Phil Vincenti scored late in the third quarter but the Hoyas weren’t able to get closer than five the rest of the way.
Maryland defeated Virginia 8-7 in Charlottesville earlier in the season. Since then the Cavaliers have won eight games in a row. This is the fourth time the teams have met in the NCAA Tournament. Maryland has won all three games in the quarterfinals, including a 10-9 win in College Park in the most recent meeting in 1997.
Georgetown scoring (G-A)-Walid Hajj 3-0, Mike Hammer 1-1, Brodie Merrill 1-0, Dave Paolisso 1-0, Phil Vincenti 1-0, Andy Corno 0-1.
Goalie summary: GU-Rich D’Andrea 50 minutes, 9 saves, 8 goals allowed, 34 shots faced; Andrew Owen 10 minutes, 0 saves, 4 goals allowed, 7 shots faced. UVa- Tillman Johnson -60 mins, 16 saves, 7 goals allowed.
Shots: GU-34, UVa-41
Saves: GU-9 (D’Andrea 9, Owen 0). UVa-16 (Johnson 16).
Clearing: GU-21 of 25, UVa-28 of 37
Faceoffs: GU-16, UVa-7
Ground Balls: GU-54, UVa-49
Penalites: GU-5-4:00, UVa-4-3:30
Extra-man scoring: GU-0 of 3, UVa-1 of 4