The Virginia Cavaliers topped their ACC foe Maryland Terrapins in the first game of the ACC Tournament, 11-10. UVA overcame an early 5-3 deficit to stretch the lead to 11-8 late before The Terps added two late goals. UVA was led by junior attackman Ben Rubeor's 5 points (3g, 2a) and 3 points from Jack Riley (2g, 1a) and Garrett Billings (1a, 2g). Sophomore midfielder Dan Groot had a career day for the Terps with 4 goals and an assist.
Durham, NC – The ACC 2nd seed, the Virginia Cavaliers jumped out early on the 3rd seeded Maryland Terps. Less than a minute into the game, sophomore Garrett Billings found junior Jack Riley who got the scoring started. Maryland wouldn’t waste much time in responding. Do-it-all middie Bryn Holmes found Michael Phipps with 1:53 gone in the first period to even the game, 1-1. From there, Virginia would go on to have a sloppy quarter. UVA won 7 of 8 face-offs in the quarter, but they also turned the ball over seven times, negating any advantage.
As Maryland settled down a bit offensively, they went on a three goal run to grab a surprising 4-1 lead late in the first quarter. Ben Rubeor would help the Cavs snap out of it by notching two goals thirty seconds apart with under 2:00 left in the opening period. The second one came on a turnover on the sideline. Rubeor “won the whistle” and took off from the sideline before Maryland could react squeezing a lefty shot just into the upper right corner. Despite controlling the first period, Maryland had only a 4-3 lead to show for it.
Both goalies, UVA’s Kip Turner and Maryland’s Harry Alford, had their most productive and tested periods with 3 and 4 saves respectively. This was the senior Alford’s first start of the year following surgery while appearing in four other games. Freshman goalie and ACC Rookie of the Year Brian Phipps made it difficult to put Alford back in between the pipes with his play. Alford played admirably despite taking a hit and coming up slow gingerly moving his surgically repaired should. The Terps know they’re in a good position there because Phipps has certainly proven himself, and if Alford gets in trouble, don’t be surprised to see a quick switch as the NCAA Tournament looms.
Maryland’s offense picked it back up early into the second quarter. This time Michael Phipps found Dan Groot. Groot ripped a sidearm shot stick-side past Turner for his 1st of the day. UVA would answer with their own three goal run to take back the lead. Following a patient offensive possession and nice ball movement, midfielder Steve Giannone took a Rubeor feed inside facing away from the goal. He quickly fired an underhanded backwards shot while being hit and cut the lead to 5-4. Rubeor, who had already been involved in three of their first four goals, got involved again. On the man-up, he connected with Danny Glading to tie the game with 3:40 gone in the second.
While the 1st quarter had pretty consistent scoring, the 2nd quarter proved to be sporadic but explosive. Rubeor made an impact again ending a nearly five minute scoring drought and having a say in five of the first six UVA goals (he even had his hand in one of the Maryland goals, as he was responsible for the man-up opportunity on a pushing penalty). This time Virginia again zipped the ball around. Rubeor drove from behind, tucked his stick for an inside roll and finished lefty high-to-high. His third goal of the day gave Virginia a lead with 6:47 left in the first half. On the ensuing possession, the Maryland defense clamped down and stripped Virginia behind the goal. A switch at X had left Rubeor with the ball and covered by a short-stick defender. The Maryland D slid forcing the turnover, leaving Rubeor injured on the ground. On the clear, longpole Joe Cinosky hit longpole Brian Farrell who scored his 5th goal of the season tying the game. Rubeor was shaken up and had to leave the game. He would return shortly after, but he was held scoreless the rest of the game. On the ensuing possession, Virginia again zipped the ball around until Garrett Billings banged the ball from below the goal-line up-top to Jack Riley. Riley ripped a righty jump shot in and gave Virginia the 7-6 halftime lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish.
Both offenses slowed down in the 2nd half as the defenses stepped up. A long Virginia possession saw two Harry Alford saves and rebounds by Virginia, until finally Garrett Billings took a shot that Alford got a piece of. The ball just trickled over the goal-line. Both teams would trade possessions, unable to get anything going, for the rest of the third quarter. Riley found Giannone with 2:30 left in the period, giving Virginia a 9-6 lead heading into the final quarter.
Virginia went into slow-down mode for most of the fourth quarter. With 10:05 to play, Virginia midfielder Ryan Kelly dodged a shortstick defender to his left and ripped a left-hander in stick-side high on Alford. Maryland’s offense would return to life and make the end interesting. Following Kelly’s goal, Virginia won the face-off, but Maryland rode the ball back. Michael Phipps ripped a left-handed bouncer in to end the unsettled play, cutting the lead to 10-7. Two and a half minutes later, following a slashing call, the Maryland man-up moved the ball well. Max Ritz zipped it from behind the goal to Dan Groot who put in a quick-stick making the lead 10-8 UVA with 7:01 to play.
Virginia’s stall seemed to be working as they killed time and even added another goal. Danny Glading found Brian Carroll with 5:13 left, giving them a late 11-8 lead. Sloppiness by Virginia and Bryn Holmes stepping up at the face-off X gave Maryland hope late. Thomas Alford cut the lead to 2 just over the two minute mark.
All game Virginia’s Adam Fassnacht had been dominant facing off. He wound up 14 of 19 on the night. When Maryland needed the ball at the end, Bryn Holmes stepped up. To set up their 10th goal (Groot’s 4th goal on a man-up following another Rubeor penalty), Holmes won the face-off to himself. Following the man-up goal, Holmes won the face-off and then tucked his stick as Fassnacht held him.
Holmes’ efforts set up the chance that down one and 1:11 left on the clock Maryland had a man-advantage. Their opportunity was short-lived. LSM Ricky Smith knocked down a pass on the wing and made an acrobatic play to keep it in. Maryland forced the ball to the ground and generated a shot. Kip Turner came up with a huge save and Virginia cleared the ball to run out the clock.
Neither played particularly efficiently as Maryland had 21 turnovers to Virginia’s 24. Virginia did a poor job in clearing the ball going 14 for 22, while Maryland was only slightly better at 20 of 25.
The win sets up a chance for revenge for Virginia as they take on top-seeded host Duke on Sunday afternoon. The last time the two teams met was two weeks ago in Durham and Duke eeked out a 7-6 overtime win.
|Ben Rubeor||(3, 2)|
|Jack Riley||(2, 1)|
|Garrett Billings||(1, 2)|
|Steve Giannone||(2, 0)|
|Danny Glading||(1, 1)|
|Ryan Kelly||(1, 0)|
|Brian Carroll||(1, 0)|
|Drew Thompson||(0, 1)|
|Kip Turner||9 (0.474)|