Baltimore, MD - The Virginia Cavaliers overcame a 6-5 first period deficit to overcome the Syracuse Orange, 11-8. Senior goalie Kip Turner came up with quite a few point blank saves to lead the Cavaliers. Attackman Ben Rubeor pushed the offense with his three goals and two assists, while midfielder Adam Fassnacht won 75% of his face-offs (12 of 16) for the Wahoos. Kenny Nims paced the Orange offense with a goal and two assists.
The game opened as a wild shoot-out with both teams tallying goals quickly. Of the 19 goals scored by both teams throughout the day, 11 came in the first quarter.
“There was a lot of nervous energy on the field in the first quarter and I thought we were headed for another 22-21 again for a minute, and I wasn’t happy about it frankly,” said Virginia coach Dom Starsia. “But I thought we settled down in the second quarter defensively.”
“I thought we had a good scheme defensively [before the game] which we didn’t implement at all in the first quarter. We had guys sliding all over the field,” Starsia went on to say. “And I thought we settled down quite a bit midway through the second quarter and Kip [Turner] also started to step up and made a couple stops for us and got us going and gave us a little confidence. Certainly I think Kip’s play and the play of the defense overall in the second half was probably the key.”
“I was a little nervous in the beginning and after the first quarter,” said Turner, Virginia’s goalie. “Obviously I was a little shaken, but at half time you have to gather yourself, as a goalie especially, and move on from it and realize that goals are going to be scored; that just happens.”
Turner amazed the crowd of 20,180 with save after save. With a little more than three minutes left in the third quarter, Turner was left all alone and a Syracuse attackman had a clear shot at the goal.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t really know [how exactly the play unfolded],” said Turner. “I know I came out a little further to cut off his angle, but it was a little bit of a guessing game for me, and I just got a little lucky. Then I saw the ball and I ran after it.”
“Someone asked me about the save that Kip made on the break-away that kind of jumped out at everybody, but there were a bunch of others in and around that one that I thought gave the defense just a little more confidence,” said Starsia. “And I liked our match-ups, even though Syracuse is tremendously talented on offense.”
“I thought the most important part of today’s game is how we closed out the game,” said Ben Rubeor of Virginia. “We established a lead and we proved to ourselves that we can hold on to that lead. We did not make the smartest plays out there but we continued to play hard and get the ball off the ground and I think we can grow from there.”
Coach Starsia reiterated these points. “I thought we made a lot of mistakes throughout the course of the entire game, even at the very end. But we played hard the whole time and that’s a good place to start with a young team.”
“With this team we have to play good defense in order to be successful,” said Starsia. “We are very young at the other end of the field especially and Kip and the defense has to keep this team grounded while a young offense kind of gets their feet on the ground. And that’s why I didn’t want to get in a shoot-out with them in the first quarter, that’s what scared me about it. Like we had at Stony Brook last week, the defense kind of settled in and the defense started playing better.”
When asked about his overall thoughts of the game, Syracuse coach John Desko said, “Early in the game we won a couple of the face-offs but didn’t pick the ball up off the wing and gave them opportunities. I thought they scored a little too easy early on in the game. And we finally took a time-out, settled down, adjusted some of our match-ups and I thought we played a little better at that point. We were generating some good shots offensively. As the game went on I think both defenses adjusted, got a little tighter. But I was pretty disappointed in our man-up and with our shooting in general today.”
“When you play Syracuse you are always going to attack them as much as you can and see what happens,” said Starsia. “They’re not a team where you can anticipate all their patterns on defense sometimes so you have to bring it from your own. The two teams look alike a lot in a lot of ways, offensively, but clearly whenever we play them we want to attack them and try to create offense.”
Virginia plays again on Monday in a home game against VMI, while Syracuse will travel south again to take on Georgetown.
Story by Matt McCarron, Photos by Joe Caulfield
|Kenny Nims||(1, 2)|
|Mike Leveille||(0, 2)|
|Greg Rommel||(2, 0)|
|Greg Niewieroski||(2, 0)|
|Patrick Perritt||(1, 0)|
|Dan Hardy||(1, 0)|
|Matt Abbott||(1, 0)|
|Peter Coluccini||5 (0.313)|