CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Brian Carroll’s goal with 7.7 seconds remaining in overtime helped send Virginia past Johns Hopkins 13-12 before a Klöckner Stadium record crowd of 7579. The win is the third in a row for Virginia over the Blue Jays as the Doyle Smith Cup that is presented to the winner of the game remains with the Cavaliers for another year.
Carroll’s OT winner is his second of the season; he also scored with 1:29 left in overtime to defeat Syracuse three weeks ago.
The win is the ninth in a row for the Cavaliers. With Duke’s loss to Georgetown earlier in the day, they remain one of only two remaining undefeated teams; Quinnipiac is 6-0. The loss by Duke is also likely to move Virginia into the top spot in the polls next week.
Johns Hopkins falls to 3-3 this season after playing its third overtime game in a row for the first time in school history.
The game featured nine ties and three lead changes in regulation and was characterized by back-and-forth scoring throughout.
“I found myself standing on the sideline late in the game thinking, ‘what a great game,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “I was interested in trying to win the game, but I also was appreciating the atmosphere and this day was a great moment for Virginia lacrosse. For us to get this win and be able to keep the Doyle Smith Cup here, there are a lot of things to like about this moment.”
Virginia senior Ben Rubeor sent the game into overtime with his third goal of the day with 56.3 seconds remaining. His goal forced the fourth tie of the final quarter as the Cavaliers twice rallied from one-goal deficits in the final four minutes of regulation to force overtime.
“We kept battling. I don’t think anybody lost their poise and everybody was focused in the huddles,” said Starsia about his team’s play late in the game. “It was less about trying to win or lose as it was about trying to make a play. I thought we made plays at both ends of the field in order to win the game.”
Freshman Shamel Bratton gave the Cavaliers a 10-9 lead with 7:38 to play in regulation, but Brian Christopher and Paul Rabil scored back-to-back goals to give the Blue Jays an 11-10 lead with 4:02 remaining. Garrett Billings tied the game with a very difficult shot from the left side at the 3:23 mark. The tie was shortlived, however, as Rabil grabbed the ground ball off the faceoff and found Tom Duerr cutting toward the goal. Duerr’s second goal of the season came at the 3:08 mark and gave the Blue Jays their second one-goal advantage as 12-11.
Virginia’s Brian McDermott won the faceoff following Rubeor’s tying goal and Virginia called timeout with 50.7 seconds remaining. Rubeor’s attempt at a game winner with 20 seconds remaining hit off the post, but Virginia was unable to get off another shot before time expired.
The Blue Jays won the overtime faceoff but took one shot before turning the ball over. The Cavaliers gave it right back once in their offensive zone. Stephen Peyser misfired on a shot on Hopkins’ second possession. Virginia gained possession as Matt Kelly backed up the shot as it went out of bounds with 1:25 left. For the second time in a row Virginia turned the ball over as Garrett Billings’ pass from X was intercepted by goalie Michael Gvozden.
On the ensuing clear attempt, Peyser was ruled offsides giving the ball back to Virginia with 31 seconds left.
With no timeouts remaining, Virginia worked the ball around before Shamel Bratton found Carroll free from 12 yards out for the winning shot.
“If you get the ball in Brian Carroll’s hands at 12 yards you like your chances at the end of the day,” Starsia said. “Because we didn’t have a time out, there wasn’t really a set play. We were just scrambling a little bit. Shamel can force a slide and get the defense moving and the ball winds up in Brian’s hands and we’re fortunate that he gets a shot and cans it.”
Virginia goalie Adam Ghitelman finished with 10 saves, including several from point blank range. The Cavaliers also got good faceoff play from McDermottt, who won 13 of 22 attempts.
The Cavaliers open ACC play next Saturday (March 29) at Maryland. The game is slated to face off at noon and will be the first regular-season lacrosse game televised on ESPN2.
|Shamel Bratton||(3, 1)|
|Danny Glading||(0, 4)|
|Brian Carroll||(2, 1)|
|Ben Rubeor||(3, 0)|
|Garrett Billings||(2, 0)|
|Rhamel Bratton||(2, 0)|
|Steve Giannone||(1, 0)|
|Adam Ghitelman||10 (0.455)|