For many lacrosse players, two goals, an assist and a groundball against an arch rival add up to a good day’s work. On Saturday, Virginia all-American Steele Stanwick compiled those stats in an important three-plus minutes midway through the fourth quarter in his team’s 12-8 victory over ninth-ranked Maryland before 6,445 at Byrd Stadium.
Stanwick finished with three goals, five assists and five groundballs. All either led the team or tied for the team high for the third-ranked Cavaliers (9-1, 1-0 ACC).
But it was a stretch in the fourth quarter that was most impressive and important. Stanwick scored a goal for a 9-7 lead with 10 minutes 33 seconds left. After a Maryland goal, Stanwick assisted on a goal by junior Matt White for a 10-8 lead with 8:20 remaining.
Stanwick then made the play of the game. Starting behind the goal, the senior went past freshman defenseman Goran Murray, drew a double-team from sophomore defenseman Brian Cooper and, while falling to the ground just in front of the crease, managed to score for an 11-8 lead with 7:34 remaining.
In Maryland’s defensive huddle after the goal, two of the defenders just shrugged their shoulders.
“I was trying to help out and I saw him fall to the ground,” Maryland defensive midfielder Landon Carr said. “I just went over to help, and he put the ball in the back of the net. He’s a great player, he does some miraculous things.”
On the ensuing faceoff, a scramble for a loose ball took place in front of the Virginia sideline. With players from both teams raking, poking and prodding the ball, the Cavaliers gained possession after Stanwick went over and picked it up with one hand.
“When there’s not a lot of sparkle out there, you need a couple of your big boys to step up and make plays,” Virginia Coach Dom Starsia said. “And I thought as that game was being decided, that’s exactly what happened for us.”
The game was a rematch of last year’s national championship, won by Virginia. Maryland was without junior Kevin Cooper, a second-line midfielder who was serving a one-game suspension after he was ejected against North Carolina last Saturday following an on-field fight.
The Terrapins also were hampered by an injury to starting midfielder Mike Chanenchuk; he played almost exclusively on extra-man settings. Seniors Joe Cummings and Michael Shakespeare each finished with two goals for the Terrapins (5-3, 1-2).
One of Cummings’s goals came after he went through a double-team, lost possession of the ball, regained it in midair and scored an instant later. Yet he was outdone by his former teammate at Loyola Blakefield High in Maryland.
“I think I got myself into a little bit of trouble” on the falling-down goal, Stanwick said. “I kind of stumbled and ran into a double team. I don’t even know, I just jumped and spun. . . . It was not planned. I don’t think I’m going to do that again for a while.”
●GEORGETOWN 8, LAFAYETTE 5: In Easton, Pa., senior Zack Angel and junior Zac Guy each scored two goals as the Hoyas (5-3) beat the Leopards (2-7) in a nonconference matchup. Junior Brian Casey had one goal and two assists for Georgetown, which went 4 for 6 on extra-man opportunities.