Shooting from the Hip with Garrett Billings
Senior attackman Garrett Billings tied one of the oldest records in the Cavalier record book last Saturday when he scored eight times in UVa’s 20-10 win at Stony Brook. Butch McCleary was the first Cavalier to accomplish the feat with eight goals against Navy on May 3, 1958. Doug Knight tied the mark with an eight-goal game against Syracuse on March 2, 1996. Tying the record for most goals was not the only milestone Billings reached on Saturday. He also became only the 11th player in program history to score 100 goals in a career; he now has 101. Billings took some time this week to talk about his remarkable performance this past weekend.
Question: You scored eight goals on Saturday against Stony Brook to tie the school record. What are your thoughts on tying the record?
Billings: I am really happy that I tied Doug Knight and Butch McCleary for that record. I actually thought that it would be around 10 or 11; I didn’t know I was close to the school record, but I am really happy that I did it.
Question: As a goal scorer do you kind of keep track in your head of how many goals you’ve scored, or were you even aware that you had so many on Saturday?
Billings: I keep a running tally in my head most of the time. I think most guys do when they are playing.
Question: You seem like you had it going from the start the other day; like a three-point shooter in basketball, when they get in a zone they can feel it. Could you tell that you were kind of in a zone on Saturday?
Billings: Definitely. I could tell the ball was going in the net, so I keep shooting as much as I did.
Question: Would you consider yourself a shooter or more of a scorer?
Billings: I wouldn’t say there is much of difference between the two, if you’re a good shooter, you’re a good scorer.
Question: You also went over 100 goals for your career on Saturday, only the 11th player at Virginia to do that. Considering some of the great offensive players who’ve played here, how does it make you feel to be listed now among those great players?
Billings: It’s the same thing with tying Doug Knight’s and Butch McCleary’s record, it’s really a good place to be. Hopefully I can improve on that 100 goals.
Question: After the game you gave credit to fellow attackmen Danny Glading and Steele Stanwick. Talk a little bit about what their skills are, and how they kind of complement you, and how you all mesh particularly early in the season?
Billings: Danny and I are playing together for the fourth year together now, so everybody knows how well we play together. Steele Stanwick, this year, I am real happy to be playing with him; he finds open men real easily.
Question: You have said before that you like the shots with tight angles. Is that a function of playing box lacrosse back in Canada?
Billings: Definitely. When I first came down here, a six-by-six net looks pretty big. So even for the low angles I see a lot more net than I would at home.
Question: Being from Western Canada like you are, what did you know about Virginia before you came here?
Billings: Not much at all. We do a “Last Word” (after Thursday practice) every week, and I’ve talked about how little I actually knew about the program and how lucky I am to be here.
Question: Being from Canada, where lacrosse is a national sport but hockey is the big game, did you play hockey?
Billings: I did. I started playing lacrosse and hockey when I was four years old. Then I quit hockey when I was 16 to play outdoor field lacrosse at home, which isn’t the same level as box lacrosse, but still lots of fun.
Question: How does winning the NCAA Championship in 2006 compare with winning the Minto Cup, which is awarded to the champion junior men’s lacrosse team in Canada?
Billings: Both of those things are memories I really cherish. Both teamsthe Burnaby Lakers and the 06 Virginia Cavalierswere two of the tightest teams I had ever been on. I couldn’t compare one to the other, they were both been great.