Fourth-ranked Virginia took almost an entire half to get to Maryland goalie Kevin O'Leary, but eventually scored five goals in the fourth quarter to defeat the fifth-ranked Terrapins, 14-11, in an Atlantic Coast Conference lacrosse game yesterday at Byrd Stadium.
Virginia, which raised its overall record to 4-2 and secured second place in the ACC with its third victory against one defeat, profited from several key extra-man opportunities to break away from a 6-6 tie at the half and led, 11-7, by the end of the third quarter.
Maryland's Jim Wilkerson, who was held in check by defenseman Mike Sotir for three periods, scored four of the five goals in the last period to help keep Maryland in the game.
Maryland (5-2, 2-2) took a 3-0 first-quarter lead as the Cavaliers sought to get organized on offense. Terrapin midfielder Don Sadler, who had a hand in five of his team's six first-half goals and finished with a goal and career-high five assists, opened the scoring at 6:44 when he bounced a shot pass goalie J.B. Meyer.
Sadler assisted on a goal by Mike Blair two minutes later, and Wilkerson increased Maryland's advantage to 3-0 less than 13 minutes into the first quarter.
"They came out really hot in the first period, and we weren't quite ready for them," said Virginia Coach Jim Adams, whose team lost to second-ranked Johns Hopkins, 12-11, last week.
"We didn't get the ball much in the first half and when we did get it, O'Leary shut the door on us. We didn't really get moving and get into the game until the second half," Adams said.
"We were outplaying them all over the field in the first half, and then all of a sudden I look up at the scoreboard and it's 6-6," said O'Leary, who had 10 saves in the first half while trying to redeem himself for his part in the Terrapins' record 23-12 loss to the Cavaliers last year. He finished yesterday's game with 18 saves.
"We really got frustrated after that, and it took the wind out of our sails," O'Leary said. "Like Coach (Dino Mattessich) told us after the game, 'We played one half, and we didn't play the other half.' "
After Maryland went ahead, 3-0, Virginia outscored the Terrapins, 11-4, in the next two periods.
Mike Caravana, who provided most of Virginia's offense in the first half, scored three goals in the second period as the Cavaliers picked away at the deficit. Caravana finished with a career-high 12 points on four goals and four assists.
Virginia tied the game, 3-3, five minutes into the second quarter on Caravana's second goal of the period. The Cavaliers then fell behind, 6-4, before Ray Giusto scored on a pass from Caravana. Caravana tied the score on a goal with 23 seconds left in the half.
Virginia scored the first three goals in the second half, two of them in extra-man situations, to take a 9-6 lead. Tim Worstell scored for Maryland midway through the period to make it 9-7, but Matt Rainis and Rick Giusto each contributed their second goals of the game to put the Cavaliers safely out of reach, even with Wilkerson's four goals in the last period.