Virginia's Adam Ghitelman turns over new leaf as Cavaliers beat Maryland for ACC title, 10-6
Virginia junior goalie Adam Ghitelman entered the ACC tournament with two years' worth of bad memories at Byrd Stadium. It took three days to erase them.
In the ACC championship game on Sunday, Ghitelman made 16 saves as the Cavaliers defeated Maryland, 10-6, before a crowd of 2,626.
Byrd Stadium was hosting the ACC tournament for the first time since 2000. And Ghitelman had reason to enter with trepidation. His record in two previous regular season appearances there featured one win, one loss, 15 saves, 23 goals-against and one demotion.
Ghitelman's work in the tournament -- including a 16-12 victory over Duke in a semifinal on Friday -- was a stark contrast. He finished with 28 saves, 18 goals-against and scored his first college goal (on a 60-yard shot on Friday).
He walked off the field with the tournament MVP trophy and went to join family and friends to celebrate his 21st birthday.
"This is the place where I lost my [starting] spot my freshman year, that's something that will stick with me," Ghitelman said. "I haven't had the best memories here, but I've won three out of four games here so I'll take that."
Ghitelman had help from his close defensemen. Sophomore Matt Lovejoy held junior Grant Catalino to 1-for-9 shooting. Catalino added an assist but was not defended by Lovejoy on the play. Lovejoy had held Catalino scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting in the regular season.
Meantime, senior Ken Clausen held Maryland junior Ryan Young scoreless and senior Ryan Nizolek held junior Travis Reed to 1-for-5 shooting.
Things looked promising for a while for the No. 4 Terrapins (9-3). They scored on three of their first five shots and led 3-0 following a goal by sophomore Michael Shakespeare. From that point until the end of the game, however, Maryland shot 3 for 31 (9.68 percent). Maryland senior Will Yeatman, who scored four goals in the regular season meeting between the teams, did not play on Sunday because of a mild concussion.
The game was tied at 5 following a goal by Catalino, on a play where he ran 10 yards and practically ran over Lovejoy before shooting into the top corner with 13 minutes 5 seconds left in the third quarter.
The second-ranked Cavaliers (13-1) answered with a 5-0 run and led 10-5 following a goal by junior Shamel Bratton with 10:59 to play. From there, Ghitelman took over -- he made a save on three point-blank shots, all from sophomore Ryan Cummings.
"I felt really good at halftime," Virginia Coach Dom Starsia said. "I felt like we had a little bounce in our step in the locker room and we played hard in the second half. And Adam's play in the fourth quarter slammed the door."
The Cavaliers are aiming for their first national title since 2006 -- "they're number one seed in my book," Maryland Coach Dave Cottle said.
Terps women win ACC
Sophomore Brittany Dipper made 12 saves and senior Caitlyn McFadden added three goals and two assists as the No. 2 Terrapins defeated No. 1 North Carolina, 10-5, to win the ACC women's championship at Ludwig Field.
Maryland (16-1) led 5-1 at halftime and did not let the Tar Heels (14-2) within three the rest of the way. Junior Corey Donohoe scored two goals for North Carolina, which jumped to No. 1 following an 18-16 victory over five-time defending NCAA champion Northwestern last week.