May 18, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Sitting in the stands at Klöckner Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Dom Starsia said the next day, he looked down on the field and saw a M*A*S*H unit, not a lacrosse team.
Three members of the UVa women’s team — sophomores Josie Owen, Ainsley Baker and Bailey Fogarty — were in street clothes. Owen and Baker were on crutches, and after her surgery today, Fogarty will have to get around the same way for awhile.
All three players were starters until they tore ACLs during the regular season. Then came the tragic death of senior Yeardley Love, a defender who would have replaced Fogarty in the starting lineup.
All of which meant Virginia coach Julie Myers had to get creative as her team prepared for its first-round game against Towson in the NCAA tournament.
“It was a new situation, but the girls did a great job,” Myers said Sunday after the sixth-seeded Cavaliers edged the Tigers 14-12 at Klöckner.
Fogarty played in 15 games, Owen in 14 and Baker in nine this season. Owen and Baker are attackers. After Owen got hurt, Myers moved Julie Gardner from the midfield to attack, and inserted freshman Anne Thomas in Gardner’s place.
Thomas “went from being a sub to a middie, and today she went from a middie to defense,” Myers said Sunday.
“We put Julie Gardner back to the mid, and we put Whit Hagerman in as a starter [on attack].”
Myers wasn’t through tinkering with her lineup. Midway through the first half, she replaced Hagerman, a senior, with freshman Kelly Austin.
Austin had “never been in a pressure situation” for the Cavaliers before Sunday, Myers said, but she acquitted herself well. Austin’s goal early in the second half pushed Virginia’s lead to 9-7.
“It’s a new lineup that we hadn’t really played with before,” Myers said. “We shuffled some people around. The good news is that we have a really talented team, and everybody has a lot of chance to play.”
Next up for Virginia (14-5) is a date with third-seeded North Carolina (16-2) in the NCAA quarterfinals. The teams meet Saturday at 1 p.m. in Chapel Hill.
During the regular season, UVa beat UNC 13-12 in overtime in Charlottesville.