Virginia vs. Mount Saint Mary's
May 10, 2003
The Game Story:
Charlottesville, Va. - Virginia opened the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament with a 19-8 first round win over Mount St. Mary's this afternoon at Klöckner Stadium. The second-seeded Cavaliers improve to 12-2 overall this season with their seventh consecutive win. The Mount, making its first NCAA Tournament appearance, finishes with a 10-8 record this season.

The skies were overcast all afternoon and the rain predicted for the area held off until after the game, but the Cavaliers came out crisp and scored three goals in the game's opening three minutes to establish the early momentum. Virginia struck quickly as John Christmas found the back of the net for the first of his three goals 23 seconds into the contest. After Jack deVilliers won his second consecutive faceoff, Virginia scored quickly again as Chris Rotelli found Matt Ward in front to put the Cavaliers ahead 2-0 65 seconds into the game. Matt Poskay pushed the lead to 3-0 by following a rebound of a Joe Yevoli miss at the 2:51 mark of the first quarter.

The Mount's first offensive possession didn't come until nearly five minutes had elapsed, but they made their first chance a good one as attackman Daniel Hatton took a pass from Billy Jautze and beat goalie Tillman Johnson from up top.

The Cavaliers closed the first quarter with a six-goal run to take a 9-1 lead after 15 minutes of action. The nine goals are tied for the second-most goals in a quarter in tournament history and the most in a first round game. (Maryland scored 10 goals in the first quarter of a semifinal game against Navy in 1976.)

Virginia slowed the pace in the second quarter but extended its run by outscoring the Mount 4-0 in the second quarter to take a 13-1 halftime lead. Ten different Cavaliers scored in the first half, led by Christmas' three goals.

Ryan Thompson replaced Johnson in goal in the second half as head coach Dom Starsia substituted freely in the second half as all 32 eligible players saw action in the game.

Mount St. Mary's held Virginia scoreless in the third quarter and got goals from Matt Warner, his 36th of the season on an extra-man opportunity, and Andrew Petcoff to trim the Virginia lead. The two goals highlighted a mini run as the Mount outscored the Cavaliers 4-1 over a 12-minute period to cut Virginia's lead to single digits at 14-5.

Virginia pushed the lead back to double figures for good with three unanswered goals midway through the final quarter as the lead grew to 17-5. The teams traded goals the rest of the way to close the scoring.

Christmas and Poskay paced the Cavalier offense with three goals apiece as 13 different players scored. Hatcher Snead and Brendan Gill scored two goals each to lead five different Wahoos who scored for the first time this season.

deVilliers was spectacular at the faceoff X, winning 10 of 11 attempts, all in the first half. Overall Virginia won 23 of 31 faceoffs.

Johnson allowed one goal and recorded three saves before giving way to Thompson for the final 30 minutes. Seeing his most extended action of his career, Thompson made four saves and relinquished seven goals.

Eight different players scored goals for Mount St. Mary's as no player scored more than once. Dave Lambour opened in the cage for head coach Tom Gravante's squad and had a rough outing before being replaced by freshman Dan Whitehurst late in the first half. The Cavaliers touched Lambour for 13 goals in 23 minutes, while Whitehurst registered five saves, while giving up just six goals.

The Cavaliers advance to the tourney quarterfinals where they will meet the winner of tomorrow's Georgetown/Rutgers game. The South Region quarterfinals are next Sunday (May 18) at Towson University. Game times are to be determined.