Cavaliers Rally to Stun North Carolina in OT
CHAPEL HILL, NCSteve Giannone scored on a rebound with 1:01 remaining in overtime to send Virginia past North Carolina 12-11 in the rain at Fetzer Field Saturday.
The overtime victory is Virginia’s third of the season and the second in a row over the Tar Heels.
The fourth-ranked Cavaliers got back on the winning track following last week’s disappointing loss to Maryland improve to 10-1 this season with their first ACC victory of the year. The sixth-ranked Tar Heels fall to 7-3 this season, including 0-3 in the ACC.
Giannone’s goal capped a remarkable rally by the Cavaliers, who trailed 11-8 with less than three-and-a-half minutes to play.
“I thought we let the game get away from us a little bit in the third quarter,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “Similar to what happened to us last week (against Maryland), I thought we got a little discouraged because we weren’t getting the ball by (goalie Grant) Zimmerman the way we wanted to.”
Virginia inched back in the final minutes with three consecutive goals to send the game to overtime. Giannone notched his first goal of the afternoon with 3:22 remaining in regulation.
The Cavaliers won the ensuing faceoff and pulled closer on Ben Rubeor’s third goal of the game with 2:43 to play.
The Tar Heels won the next faceoff, but Michael J. Burns took a risky shot that was saved easily by Bud Petit with 2:31 to play. The Cavaliers cleared the ball but Danny Glading’s shot to tie hit the pipe at the 1:51 mark. North Carolina gathered the loose ball but quickly turned it over when a long pass downfield was intercepted.
Virginia called timeout with 50 seconds left in regulation to set up a play. Brian Carroll misfired high with 24 seconds left. On the restart Danny Glading looped around from the left side and sent a low shot from 14 yards past Zimmerman to send the game to overtime with 17 seconds remaining.
“We got a little discouraged (in the third quarter), but then we were ready to fight back in the fourth quarter,” Starsia said.
Despite losing the overtime faceoff, the Cavaliers controlled the tempo in the extra session. Zimmerman saved a Rubeor shot with 2:17 to go, but an aggressive ride by Rubeor caused a Tar Heel turnover. Cavalier longstick Mike Timms scooped the loose ball at the restraining line to give his team its second possession of overtime.
Following a successful clear, Virginia patiently worked the ball around its offensive zone looking for a good opportunity. With the clock closing in on a minute, Glading again had good position on his man and fired a shot at Zimmerman. Zimmerman stopped the ball but it bounced directly to Giannone who found himself all alone on the crease. Giannone calmly snared the free ball and put it past Zimmerman for the winner.
Petit was outstanding in goal for the Cavaliers in his first start in three years. He recorded a career-high 13 saves, including the big save of Burns late in the game that gave Virginia its final possession of regulation.
“I thought Bud played very wellhe gave us a chance to win,” Starsia said of his fifth-year player. “I don’t know what his stats look like, but they probably don’t reflect the impact he had on the game overall.”
The Cavaliers return to action at home at Klckner Stadium against Duke. The game is set to face off at 6 pm and will be televised on ESPNU.
Virginia 3-0-3-5-112 record: 10-1/1-1 ACC
North Carolina 1-2-6-2-011 record: 7-3/0-3 ACC
Scoring (G-A) V: Ben Rubeor 3-0, Danny Glading 2-2, Garrett Billings 2-1, Steve Giannone 2-0, Brian Carroll 1-1, Will Barrow 1-0, Jack Riley 1-0. NC: Ben Hunt 3-0, Sean Delaney 2-0, Gavin Petracca 2-0, Nick Tintle 1-1, Sean Burke 1-0, Michael B. Burns 1-0, Kevin Federico 1-0, Bart Wagner 0-3, Billy Bitter 0-2, Brian Connors 0-1, Rob Driscoll 0-1.
Goalie SummaryV: Bud Petit 62:59 mins., 13 saves, 11 goals allowed. NC: Grant Zimmerman 62:59 mins., 14 saves, 12 goals allowed.
Shots: V56, NC33
Ground Balls: V40, NC45
Clearing: V21x26, NC18x27
Faceoffs: V12, NC15
Penalties: V5-4:30, NC6-6:00
EMO: V1x4, NC2x4