February 16, 2013

Virginia Beats Drexel in OT on White's Winner

from press release

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Eleven seconds into the first overtime period, Virginia's Matt White scored his second career overtime goal off a feed from Nick O'Reilly to give the Cavalier men's lacrosse team (1-0) a 13-12 win over Drexel (0-1) on a blistery Saturday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium. White's other overtime goal came against Bucknell in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The win gives UVa its sixth consecutive season-opening win over the Dragons.

"This has always been a very difficult first game for us," said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. "Drexel always plays us tough, so we expected this coming in. We're still very much a work in progress all over the field, in particular at the offensive end. While I thought we battled, we did turn the ball over a couple of times and we made some mistakes that probably cost us a couple of times. But overall, we're glad to see a little grit and see our fellas battle to get the W."

While White scored the game-winner inside the left post, it was set up by an unsettled situation off the faceoff that opened the overtime period. Drexel's Deven Thomas beat Mick Parks on the draw, pulling the ball back toward the Dragons' goal. UVa's Rob Emery beat all players to the ball to set up a transition. Emery found O'Reilly, who quickly found White for the score.

"I thought that Rob Emery made a big boy play off the ground ball on the wing and got the win for us," said Starsia. "We'll certainly take it."

O'Reilly led all players with eight points, including a career-high six assists. O'Reilly topped his previous best of four assists set in the NCAA title game against Maryland, coincidentally his last game after sitting out the 2012 season. White led all players with four goals. The game started heavily in Virginia's favor. The Cavaliers scored twice before Drexel even shot the ball. Twenty-one seconds into the game Emery scored unassisted, followed by an O'Reilly unassisted goal at 12:25. UVa concluded its 3-0 run with another score by O'Reilly at 4:10 in the first quarter.

Drexel streaked on a 5-1 run, entering the intermission with a 5-4 advantage. Five different Dragons scored and Ben McIntosh capped the run with his goal with eight seconds left in the first half.

The scoring in the second half was slow to start. Until Matt Cockerton grabbed a carom off Drexel goalie Will Gabrieslson and deposited at 8:54, no ball ripped nylon in the second half. Cockerton's goal tied the game at 5-5. Pat Harbeson followed up with a goal about a minute later to give UVa a 6-5 lead, but was flagged after the goal for unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalty was a full-time served penalty with no ensuing faceoff. Andrew Vivian quickly tied the game as a result, 6-6, with 7:42 left.

Vivian's goal was part of a 3-1 Drexel run that gave the Dragons an 8-7 lead with 2:00 minutes to play in the third quarter. Virginia responded with a 4-1 run of its own that included goals by Bobby Hill, Parks and White. Owen Van Arsdale added a man-down score of his own, the first UVa man-down score since the 2011 season. White's third goal of the game capped the run with 5:15 left to play, as UVa held a narrow 11-9 lead.

Drexel scored the next two via Aaron Prosser and Frank Fusco, tying the game, 11-11, with 1:23 left to play.

Thomas won the ensuing faceoff, but Scott McWilliams stripped Garrett McIntosh, giving UVa the ball back. Charlie Streep scored his first career Virginia goal with 49 seconds left, giving UVa the narrow 12-11 lead.

Drexel won the next faceoff and Robert Chruch's shot was blocked out front, Belka beat UVa goalie Dan Marino to the ball in front of the crease, quickly depositing the ball in the goal with eight second remaining, setting up the winner-take-all scenario.

Marino became the sixth first-year to start a season-opening game in goal for Virginia since men's lacrosse became an NCAA Championship sport in 1971. He is also the seventh first-year overall at Virginia to start any game as a rookie inside the cage. Marino commenced his career with 15 saves, breaking a program record in the Drexel series. Rob Fortunato (2011) and Bob Catzen (1947) previously shared the mark against Drexel with 12.

Virginia defeated Drexel in shots (52-43), ground balls (44-37) and had fewer turnovers (14-17). Faceoffs were even (14-14).

Virginia returns to action on Tuesday night when VMI travels to Klöckner Stadium. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m.


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