CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Attackman Garrett Billings scored three goals, including the game-winner, to lift Virginia to a 10-9 win over UMBC today at Klöckner Stadium in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Billings’ third goal with 6:50 to play broke the game’s fifth tie and set up a quarterfinal match-up against Maryland next Saturday in Annapolis, Md. Virginia and Maryland have split two previous meetings this season.
With the win, Virginia improves to 13-3 this season, the second time in the last three seasons the Cavaliers have won at least 13 games. UMBC saw its 11-game winning streak end as the Retrievers finish the season with a 12-4 record.
“I told the (team in the locker room after the game) I felt like the effort was always there,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “If this game hadn’t turned out the way that it did that I was still pleased with the effort overall. We just weren’t real sharp early in the game. (With exams and the irregular practice schedule), it seemed like we were a little out of sync early in the game, combined with (Jeremy) Blevins in the goal doing a nice job. I thought we had some decent chances early on that we didn’t cash in on.”
The Retrievers scored first as Kyle Wimer found Alex Hopmann all alone on the crease less than three minutes in.
The Cavaliers sent a barrage of shots (15) at Blevins in the first quarter but were only able to get two goals from Ben Rubeor in the quarter. Rubeor forced the first tie at the 6:54 mark and sent the Cavaliers into the lead with 1:48 remaining in the quarter. Hopmann tied the game for the second time with an extra-man goal with .8 seconds left in the period.
Hopmann’s goal started a 4-goal run as Maxx Davis tallied twice and Matt Latham once as UMBC built a 5-3 lead with less than three-and-a-half minutes to go until halftime.
Virginia inched closer as Billings scored his first goal of the game with 2:44 remaining and drew within one on Danny Glading’s goal with 20.3 seconds left in the half. Glading, who had scored just three goals in the previous four games, paced the Cavaliers with four goals.
“It was a game in which we were having a hard time gathering any momentum in the first half,” Starsia said. “I thought we made a little push at the end of the second quarter. We had the extra-man (opportunity) coming out of the locker room (to start the second half.) So I felt like we were in a pretty good position after floundering a little bit early in the game.”
The Cavaliers did not score on the extra man to start the second half, but Glading tied the score at five a short time later.
The tie lasted barely a minute before Wimer beat his man and sent a shot past goalie Bud Petit to give the Retrievers the 6-5 advantage. Latham notched his second goal of the day at the 9:45 mark to give UMBC its first two-goal lead of the half.
More than six minutes passed with no scoring before Glading scored his third goal of the game with 3:41 remaining in the quarter. His goal started a four-goal spree by Virginia as the Cavaliers took a 9-7 lead into the fourth quarter. Shamel Bratton tied the game with his first goal in three games and Billings sent his team into the lead with 1:50 by converting up top off a nice pass from Peter Lamade. Glading closed the quarter by splitting a double team and beating Blevins with 8.3 seconds left.
UMBC wasted little time drawing even behind goals by Wimer and Latham in the opening three minutes of the fourth quarter.
The teams traded possessions over the next six minutes as UMBC turned the ball over three times without taking a shot, while Virginia misfired on five shots. The Cavaliers capitalized on a slashing penalty by Bobby Atwell against Brian Carroll with 7:39 to play. Billings converted the man-up goal by taking a feed in front from Rubeor and depositing a shot in the back of the net 49 seconds later for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
UMBC has several good scoring chances in the final three minutes. Terry Kimener hit the crossbar with 2:30 left and had another shot saved with 38 seconds to go. Virginia turned the ball over twice in the final minute but the Retrievers were unable to score the equalizer. Wimer missed with seven seconds on the clock as Virginia gained possession as time expired.
|Garrett Billings||(3, 2)|
|Danny Glading||(4, 1)|
|Ben Rubeor||(2, 1)|
|Peter Lamade||(0, 2)|
|Shamel Bratton||(1, 0)|
|Bud Petit||8 (0.471)|