Virginia Escapes Against Princeton With 6-5 Win
from staff reports
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A fourth-quarter goal from Chris Bocklet via Steele Stanwick proved to be the difference as the fifth-seeded Virginia Cavaliers (12-3) outlasted visiting Princeton Tigers (11-5) on Sunday afternoon, 6-5, in an NCAA first round game inside Klöckner Stadium.
The six goals by UVa is the lowest number of scores for the Cavaliers in an NCAA win and the 11 total goals between the two teams tied for the fifth-fewest ever in an NCAA Tournament game, four other games are tied for first with 10 total goals. Six other NCAA Tournament games have featured 11 total goals, most recent the Syracuse vs. Maryland quarterfinal last season.
Chris LaPierre blocked a Forrest Sonnenfeldt shot with his chest with six seconds left to help preserve the win.
UVa advances to the NCAA quarterfinal round next Sunday in Philadelphia, playing the winner of tonight's Notre Dame vs. Yale first round game. UVa's NCAA quarterfinal contest will be played at PPL Park and faceoff is TBA. The game will be televised live on ESPNU in HD.
"It was a good win for us," said UVa men's lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia. "It was a hard fought game and I give a lot of credit to Princeton for playing well. I thought defensively we were on it the entire day as we jumped in and out of different defenses throughout the day. I thought we were very alert on the defensive side of the ball, I thought offensively we created some good opportunities, but what has been indicative for us for weeks and months is the ball hasn't been jumping in for us. Today I give [Tyler] Fiorito some credit for that, who is probably as good as a goalie as there is out there."
UVa jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter, scoring the game's first two goals. Colin Briggs scored unassisted at 10:54 to start things off. Bocklet scored his first goal of the afternoon on a crisp Matt White helper shortly after, at 9:09.
Tom Schreiber put Princeton on the board after Tucker Shanely found the midfielder with 3:55 left in the first period. UVa was able cap the first quarter in transition when Matt Lovejoy picked up a ground ball and led a Cavalier clear. The UVa senior defensemen found Bobby Hill in transition for the goal with 10 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The assist was the first career point for Lovejoy.
The second quarter was a defensive juggernaut until Briggs scored the period's first goal with 3:27 left before the intermission, pushing UVa's lead to three goals, 4-1. After being held scoreless for 17:29, Princeton found nylon for its second goal of the game when Sonnenfeldt dropped a 17-yard shot from Schreiber. The goal cut UVa's lead to two goals, 4-2.
UVa wasn't done yet with its first half scoring, Chris Clements caused Schreiber to turn the ball over in the final seconds. Harry Prevas picked up the ground ball and found LaPierre, who chucked the rock 45 yards from the restraining line to Stanwick who was standing goal line extended. Stanwick grabbed the ball behind Princeton's Rob Castelo, who missed the jump ball. Stanwick beat Fiorito with five seconds left before the intermission.
Princeton stormed out in the third quarter, scoring two goals to cut its deficit to one goal, 5-4. Jeff Froccaro scored back-to-back goals, his second coming with six seconds left in the third quarter after a UVa turnover. The Cavaliers failed to score in the third quarter.
With 7:07 left in the game came the Stanwick to Bocklet connection, giving UVa the 6-4 lead. But Princeton wouldn't go quietly. Schreiber scored his second goal of the day with 1:19 left to play, cutting UVa's lead back to one goal, 6-5.
Princeton without timeouts remaining, won the ensuing faceoff, set the offense for one final assault on the goal. With nine second left, Sonnenfeldt from 15 yards out riffled a shot that hit LaPierre straight in the chest. The ball caromed toward the Princeton sideline where the Cavaliers had the backup. With six seconds left, the Cavaliers tossed the ball down the field to secure the triumph.
Princeton won the shot battle (34-25), ground ball battle (30-27), saves (12-8) and faceoffs (9-5).
Lovejoy and Clements each caused four turnovers, as Princeton had 18 turnovers on the afternoon.
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