May 21, 2006
Towson, Md. – The top-ranked Virginia men’s lacrosse team exploded for nine goals in the third quarter to break open a close game and roll to a 20-8 win over Georgetown this afternoon at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The win is the Cavaliers’ 15th in a row and extends their school record as they remain the only undefeated team in the country. Georgetown ends its season with a 12-3 record.
Ben Rubeor scored a career-high five goals, including four in the second half, to lead the Cavaliers’ offensive onslaught. Matt Poskay tied his high with four goals, while Matt Ward tallied three times and recorded a career-high five assists.
“It was a terrific win for us today. In our sports it’s a real honor to be playing in the Final Four. To reach that level it’s certainly a very concrete and specific goal in the sport of college lacrosse,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “(To be) on that stage and in that setting is something we have thought about for a long time and we’re very pleased to be going back. We got on a little bit of a roll there in the third quarter and the game got away from them a little bit at the end. I thought they played very hard in the first half, that they played very well, and it certainly was a game until late in the third quarter. Obviously we’re very pleased to get the win.
“I’ve got a group of seniors that are very focused and have been very intense since the beginning of the year back in September. You could feel and energy and an enthusiasm building up over the course of the week. I thought we were very good in practice the last couple days. There’s been a lot of talk about `rest vs. rust’ kind of thing and I don’t think we played that well today to be honest. Again, I’m not taking anything for granted, but I think that we can play better than we did today. I’ve got guys that just want to keep this thing going and if we’re going to keep it going, then we’re going to do it in the right way and that’s to just keep getting better.”
Poskay got the Cavaliers off to another quick start with his 31st goal of the season with less than three minutes elapsed. Jared Little scored his first goal in three games and was followed by Kyle Dixon as Virginia built a 3-0 lead with less than seven minutes gone.
After Matt Ward’s first goal of the game extended the lead to 4-0, Dave Paolisso ended the Cavalier run with the first of his four goals with 2:49 remaining as the teams traded goals the rest of the quarter. Poskay scored his second of the day with 50 seconds left, but Sean Denihan answered for Georgetown with eight seconds to play.
The back-and-forth scoring continued in the second quarter as Ward opened the scoring at the 10:53 mark and was matched by Andrew Baird’s extra-man goal three minutes later. A short time later Ward found freshman Garrett Billings all alone in front as Billings easily beat Hoya goalie Miles Kass. Paolisso cut the Virginia lead to 6-4 with his second goal of the half 32 seconds later.
Rubeor scored his only goal of the first half in a man-down situation 3:22 before halftime. The man down goal is Rubeor’s fourth of the season, more than every other team in the country.
Paolisso completed his hat trick 46 seconds before halftime as Virginia took an 8-5 lead to the locker room at halftime.
A penalty on Virginia defenseman Ricky Smith in the waning seconds of the first half gave Georgetown an excellent opportunity to capitalize to start the second half, but Matt Kelly forced a turnover by Trevor Casey as the Cavaliers successfully killed the penalty.
Poskay’s third goal of the game opened the second half scoring after 1:19 elapsed in the third quarter as Virginia’s lead grew to 9-5, but Georgetown’s Garret Wilson bulled his way to his eighth goal of the year at the 12-minute mark of the third quarter.
The three-goal margin was as close as the Hoyas got as the Cavaliers rattled off three goals in less than two-and-a-half minutes to seize control. Drew Thompson, Danny Glading and Will Barrow all scored their only goals of the game to highlight the outburst.
Chase Gahan scored an extra-man goal to cut the Virginia margin to 12-7, but the Cavaliers scored five unanswered goals to take a 17-7 lead to the fourth quarter.
Virginia outscored the Hoyas 3-1 in the final period as 31 of 32 eligible Cavaliers played.
Kip Turner was excellent in goal for the Cavaliers and finished with 12 saves before giving way to Bud Petit in the fourth quarter. He stuffed several shots in front, especially in the second quarter when he recorded four saves.
The close defense of Smith, Michael Culver and Matt Kelly held the Georgetown attack to only one goal and two assists combined.
Virginia now faces Syracuse (10-4) in the semifinals next Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Syracuse advanced to the Final Four with a 13-12 win over Johns Hopkins yesterday. The Cavaliers defeated the Orange a 20-15 earlier in the season. This is the first time since 2002 the teams have met in the NCAA Championships when Syracuse won 12-11 in overtime in the national semifinals.
#5 Georgetown 2-3-2-1–8 record: 12-3
#1 Virginia 5-3-9-3–20 record: 15-0
Scoring (G-A)–V: Ben Rubeor 5-2, Matt Poskay 4-0, Matt Ward 3-5, Garrett Billings 2-1, Kyle Dixon 1-2, Drew Thompson 1-1, Will Barrow 1-0, Danny Glading 1-0, Jared Little 1-0, Jack Riley 1-0, Steve Giannone 0-1, Ryan Kelly 0-1. G: Dave Paolisso 4-0, Garret Wilson 1-1, Andrew Baird 1-0, Sean Denihan 1-0, Chase Gahan 1-0, Brendan Cannon 0-2, Pete Cannon 0-2, Jake Semperton 0-1.
Goalie Summary–V: Kip Turner 51:42 mins., 12 saves, 8 goals allowed; Bud Petit 8:18, 0 SVS, 0 GA. G: Miles Kass 39:18 mins., 7 saves, 14 goals allowed; Rich D’Andrea 20:42, 4 SVS, 3 GA.
Shots: V–47, G–31
Ground Balls: V–33, G–43
Clearing: V–14×17, G–10×14
Faceoffs: V–14, G–10
Penalties: V–8-5:30, G–7-6:30
EMO: V–4×7, G–2×8