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May 18, 2003

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TOWSON, Md. – Sophomore attackman John Christmas scored three goals to lead second seeded Virginia to a 12-7 victory over Georgetown in a NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament quarterfinal at Towson Stadium Sunday afternoon.

The win pushed the Cavaliers to 13-2 on the year and earned them a spot in next week’s semifinals against Atlantic Coast Conference rival Maryland at Ravens Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was Virginia’s eighth win in a row since an 8-7 loss to the Terrapins on March 29. The 13 wins ties a Virginia school record for victories in a single season. Georgetown closed out its season with an 11-4 record.

“We staked out going to the final four as a season goal,” Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. “Getting there isn’t enough. We want the next step.”

The Cavaliers used a 4-0 run in the second quarter to break away from a 3-3 first period tie. Christmas, UVA’s leading scorer with 34 goals, got the rally started with a goal just 1:49 into the period. Matt Poskay, A.J. Shannon and Nathan Kenney followed as Virginia assumed a 7-3 lead at halftime.

Virginia’s rally continued in the second half as the Cavaliers added two more goals for a 9-3 lead. The Hoyas finally stopped Virginia’s run at the 7:59 mark of the third quarter to end a scoring drought that lasted 22 minutes and 15 seconds on Joe Paolisso’s first goal of the season. Georgetown scored again nine seconds later when Brodie Merrill got his first goal of the year to close the gap to 9-5.

But the Cavaliers came back on another Christmas goal with 6:09 left in the third period. Joe Yevoli’s marker less than two minutes later returned Virginia to a six-goal cushion. Both teams cooled off the rest of the way with only three more goals tallied (two by the Hoyas) in the final 16:56 of the contest.

“First and foremost you have to tip your hat to Virginia,” said Georgetown coach Dave Urick. “I have always told my players to respect every opponent, but never fear them.”

Shannon was the only other multi-goal scorer for Virginia with his two. Junior goalkeeper Tillman Johnson had 15 saves

Georgetown was paced by junior midfielder Walid Hajj with three goals. Faceoff middie Andy Corno was dominating, winning 16 of 23 draws but the Hoyas chances were stifled by a rugged Virginia defense. Starting Hoya goalkeeper Rich D’Andrea finished with 10 saves.

                        1       2       3       4       Final Georgetown (11-4)       3       0       3       1         7Virginia (13-2)         3       4       4       1         12

GOALS: UVA – John Christmas 3, A.J. Shannon 2, Matt Ward, Chris Rotelli, Joe Yevoli, Kyle Dixon, Matt Poskay, Nathan Kenney, Trey Whitty GT – Walid Hajj 3, Mike Hammer, Phil Vincenti, Brodie Merrill, Dave Paolisso.

ASSISTS: UVA – Matt Ward 3, Chris Rotelli, Joe Yevoli. GT – Mike Hammer.

SAVES: UVA – Tillman Johnson 15 (60:00, 7 goals allowed). GT – Rich D’Andrea 10 (49:31, 8 goals allowed), Andrew Owen 0 (10:29, 4 goals allowed).

SHOTS: UVA 40, GT 34.


FACEOFFS: UVA 7-23 (Jack deVilliers 7-23). GT 23-7 (Andy Corno 16-7).

PENALITES: UVA 4 for 3:30. GT – 5 for 4:00.

EXTRA MAN: UVA 1 for 4, GT 0 for 3.

CLEARS: UVA 27-6, GT 22-6.



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