Virginia vs. Notre Dame
March 11, 2003
The Game Story:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA-The Virginia men's lacrosse team used two four-goal runs in the second half to gain a 14-8 win over Notre Dame this afternoon at Klöckner Stadium. With the win the Cavaliers move to 4-0 this season, their best start since they won six straight to open the 1996 season. The loss dropped the ninth-ranked Fighting Irish to 3-1.

Sophomore John Christmas tied his career high with four goals and added two assists to lead the Cavalier offense. Senior Chris Rotelli and freshman Matt Ward each scored three times and assisted on another score. Overall Virginia's starting attack scored eight goals and chipped in with six assists.

Both offenses came ready to play, scoring twice in the opening six minutes. Rotelli scored UVa's first two goals, but Dan Berger and Matt Howell answered each time for the visiting Irish. The Cavaliers controlled the ball for much of the first and fired off 19 shots, but goalie Stewart Crosland was tremendous with nine of his 21 saves in the period. Christmas and Joe Yevoli each found the back of the net after the initial offensive flurry to give the Cavaliers a 4-2 lead at the end of the period. Each team scored once in the second quarter in a period that wasn't nearly as explosive as the first as Virginia built a 5-3 halftime lead.

The Cavaliers blew the game open early in the second half as Christmas and Ward both scored twice in first three-and-a-half minutes to propel them to a 9-3 lead. The Fighting Irish responded with a run of their own, however. They capitalized on three Virginia penalties with extra-man goals by Howell, Patrick Walsh, and Berger to trim the margin to three (9-6) at period's end. Just as they did to start the third quarter, the Cavaliers erupted for four consecutive goals to begin the fourth period. Billy Glading's only goal of the game at 12:08 helped shift the momentum to Virginia's side and end Notre Dame's third quarter run. Rotelli tallied his third of the game at 9:24, while Zach Heffner scored the first goal of his career 14 seconds later. Ward converted on a fast break pass from Christmas to extend UVa's lead to 13-6 midway through the quarter. Notre Dame's Matt Karweck and Travis Wells sandwiched another goal by Christmas to close the scoring. Virginia returns to action against Towson this Sunday (March 16) at Klöckner Stadium at 3:30 pm.