CHARLOTTESVILLE — The cover of the Virginia men’s lacrosse team’s scouting report for Bucknell in an NCAA tournament first-round game on Sunday had the words, “One Game Season.”
And the Cavaliers did pack almost a season’s worth of drama into a 13-12 overtime victory before 1,705 at Klockner Stadium. Sophomore Matt White scored the winning goal, off an assist from junior Steele Stanwick, with 1 minute 27 seconds elapsed in sudden-death overtime.
The No. 7 seeded Cavaliers (10-5) advanced to face No. 2 Cornell (14-2) in a quarterfinal on Saturday at Hofstra.
They did so despite trailing 10-6 late in the third quarter, 11-8 with 8:04 to play, 12-10 with four minutes left and having lost the faceoff to start overtime.
“It was definitely an emotional roller coaster,” Stanwick said.
The Bison (14-3) were in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001, and they did not leave anything to chance. To prepare for the expected muggy conditions in Charlottesville, Coach Frank Fedorjaka had his team practice in sweatpants and sweatshirts the past week.
The move paid off. After the game was tied at 6 at halftime, Bucknell scored the first four goals of the second half. The first three came from junior Charlie Streep; the fourth, from freshman Todd Heritage, gave the Bison a 10-6 lead with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
By the end of the third quarter, however, Streep was on the sideline with a cramp in his left leg. He missed all but 30 seconds of the quarter. Virginia closed to 11-10 following a goal by junior Chris Bocklet with 6:50 to play; the Bison took a 12-10 lead on a goal by freshman Peter Burke, then won the faceoff and called timeout with 3:36 left.
From there, Virginia began to gamble on defense. It left the goal wide-open twice to pressure the ball, but Bucknell missed two shots into the goal. The Cavaliers got the ball back, then turned it over with 3:04 left.
From there, a Bucknell defender fired the ball toward an empty goal; a teammate was closest to the endline, usually meaning the ball would go back to the offense. But referees ruled it was a pass, not a shot, so the Cavaliers gained possession. Stanwick scored 12 seconds later to cut the deficit to 12-11.
With 1:55 left, Heritage went to the goal after his defender, senior Bray Malphrus, slipped. Heritage seemingly had an open shot, but Malphrus lunged and got enough of Heritage’s stick to cause a turnover. Nine seconds later, Stanwick tied the game.
In overtime, Bucknell brought Streep back into the game and got the ball to senior Billy Eisenreich (two goals, two assists), who was defended by shortstick midfielder Blake Riley. As Eisenreich readied to go to the goal, however, he slipped. Riley knocked the ball from his stick and began a fast break the other way.
“We wanted Billy Eisenreich to draw a double-team and create,” Fedorjaka said. “It wasn’t a set play, but we got what we wanted.”
At the other end, Stanwick drew a double-team; the second defender was a little early, and Stanwick found White on the crease. White shot before being hit by a defender, then found himself at the bottom of a pile of his teammates.
“It definitely wasn’t very comfortable,” he said.
Streep and Heritage each scored three goals for Bucknell. Stanwick finished with three goals and five assists and Bocklet scored five goals.
In the seconds before the game, Stanwick put his arm around Coach Dom Starsia, asked how he was doing, then patted him on the back with his lacrosse stick.
“Some games stay with you a long time,” Starsia said after the game. “This was one of them.”
l MARYLAND 13, NORTH CAROLINA 6: Junior Drew Snider had four goals and senior Ryan Young added two goals and three assists for the visiting Terrapins (11-4) against the eighth-seeded Tar Heels (10-6). Senior Max Schmidt held North Carolina leading scorer Nicky Galasso scoreless.
Maryland had a 16-4 advantage in groundballs in the first half.
“We played really, really hard,” Maryland Coach John Tillman said in a phone interview. “Coming off last week [a 10-8 loss to Colgate] I don’t think anyone on our team felt they played great. . . . This week we got the intensity where we want it to be. This is how we want to play. Playing hard and playing unselfish is so critical.”
The Terrapins will face Syracuse or Siena in the quarterfinals next Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.
l DENVER 13, VILLANOVA 10: Jeremy Noble scored four goals as the Pioneers (14-2) beat the Wildcats (11-5). Denver, the sixth seed, will face third-seeded Johns Hopkins at Hofstra on Saturday.