CHARLOTTESVILLE – In a 12-7 men’s lacrosse victory over No. 6 Virginia on Saturday, Maryland senior Ryan Young had two goals, four assists and countless bad memories erased.
Young entered Saturday’s game with the following numbers in his career against Virginia: 6 starts, 9 points, 19 turnovers, 1 victory. But he turned around the trend in the first Virginia lacrosse game played at Scott Stadium in 16 years. The school moved the Maryland-Virginia game as part of a doubleheader with a spring football intrasquad scrimmage.
From a marketing standpoint, it was a success. The game started at noon; by 12:20, university officials said the parking lots at the stadium were full. The announced crowd for the game was 10,545.
The home crowd was left disappointed by Young, Maryland sophomore goalie Niko Amato (12 saves) and a stout man-down defense by the Terrapins (7-2, 1-2 ACC).
Maryland took the lead for good against the Cavaliers (7-3, 0-1) early in the third quarter. Young assisted on a goal by sophomore John Haus that tied the score at 5 with 13 minutes 33 seconds left in the third quarter. The Terrapins took a 6-5 lead after Young fed junior Joe Cummings for a goal less than three minutes later.
“I just happened to be the one creating and feeding my teammates,” Young said. “It could have been anyone out there.”
Meantime, Amato and Virginia senior goalie Adam Ghitelman (11 saves) had strong performances. In one 18-second stretch late in the first half, the teams combined for three fast breaks and three point-blank shots but no goals. Amato saved a point-blank shot, Ghitelman did the same, then Amato did it again.
Eventually, however, Young and the Terrapins found the holes in their opponent’s defense. The Cavaliers did not.
In the final minute of the third quarter, Virginia senior John Haldy had a one-on-one with Amato from the top of the crease. Haldy faked once and shot. Amato reached behind him and made the save.
On the ensuing possession, Cummings scored for an 8-5 lead with six seconds left. “Give credit to their goalie,” Virginia junior attackman Steele Stanwick said. “They had a few two-goal swings.”
The Cavaliers played without senior midfielder Shamel Bratton, a two-time first-team all-American. Bratton (17 goals, seven assists) is suspended indefinitely for violating a team rule, Coach Dom Starsia said on Saturday morning. He watched the game in street clothes on the sideline but did not practice this past week.
Bratton also was suspended for one game earlier this season; he missed an overtime win over Stony Brook on Feb. 26.
“I’ve spent time with him almost every day,” Starsia said. “This team has set guidelines and rules. We do treat everybody individually, but the rules need to be applied equally.”
Bratton was missed mostly was on the Cavaliers’ extra-man offense. Virginia went scoreless on its first four extra-man chances. The most crucial came early in the second quarter: The Cavaliers led 3-2 when Maryland was called for two penalties.
Faced with a makeshift lineup, Coach John Tillman called a timeout and did the best he could, giving senior Dan Burns a longstick and putting him in the game. Burns normally plays with a shortstick, but he also is one of the team’s best athletes.
The unit hustled on every Virginia pass and eventually freshman Rob Emery threw the ball out of bounds before the team took a shot.
Junior Chris Bocklet and senior Rhamel Bratton (Shamel’s twin brother) each had two goals for Virginia. Cummings and Haus had four goals each for Maryland.