UVa holds off Stony Brook in quarters

Updated: May 23, 2010, 7:51 PM ET
Associated Press

STONY BROOK, N.Y. -- The Virginia men's lacrosse team did Sunday what the women's team couldn't do Saturday -- move on to the Final Four amid the emotional aftermath of the death of Yeardley Love.

Chris Bocklet scored three goals and set up two others and Adam Ghitelman made 13 saves to help the top-seeded Cavaliers outlast upset-minded No. 8 seed Stony Brook 10-9 in the quarterfinals.

The Cavaliers (16-1), who are four-time champions, will face fifth-seeded Duke (14-4) Saturday in Baltimore in the national semifinals.

"I think there was a little bit of a letdown today," Ghitelman said. "We didn't play perfect, but we pulled through in a really tough atmosphere against a really good team. Just the aspect of wanting to play for those girls and for Yeardley, it's something that's definitely helping us and going to be able to carry us through in the end."

It was Virginia's second game since senior midfielder George Huguely was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Love, a senior defender for Virginia's women's team who was found dead in her bedroom May 3. Four days later, men's coach Dom Starsia's father passed away following a long illness.

The women's team fell 17-7 at North Carolina in its quarterfinal Saturday.

"I think we've been through a lot," said Ken Clausen, a senior defenseman and captain. "Something the coach has been saying, and it's been kind of a motto, is we don't want this thing to end yet, and that goes for everything that's been going on. Lacrosse aside from that, we want to be able to stick together as a team a little bit longer.

"So coming out there and playing for the girls team and playing for Yeardley and going and doing this thing, that's been on our mind and that's been motivation for us. I think we're all very happy to be sticking around with each other for another week."

But Stony Brook, which made its second NCAA tournament appearance and for since 2002, almost showed the Cavaliers the exit, repeatedly rallying from deficits.

"We weren't cocky by any means, but we were certainly confident that we could show up and play," said Seawolves coach Rick Sowell, who had seen his team lose at Virginia 13-8 on Feb. 27. "I'm just so proud of them for doing just that.

"Yeah, a play here and a play there and you never know what happens. ... We'll probably drive ourselves nuts by the would'ves, should'ves and could'ves."

Bocklet made a play with 5:21 left, scoring on a shot from about 5 yards out on the left side that sailed past goalie Charlie Paar and into the far side of the net, giving the Cavaliers the lead at 9-8. Colin Briggs made it 10-8 with 3:45 to go before Tom Compitello cut the margin to one with 2:11 remaining.

Jordan McBride had a chance to tie it from the left side with about 30 seconds to go, but Ghitelman stopped the junior attackman's straight-on shot.

"That's one shot I want back," McBride said. "I'm going to be thinking about it until next year."

It was 5-1 Virginia early in the second quarter. But Stony Brook came back, and when Kevin Crowley scored his first of two, it was tied at 5 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.

"I think our team has a lot of confidence in our offense," Crowley said. "I think we all believed we could come back."

Bocklet, however, responded with a goal from in close. After Ghitelman stopped Kyle Belton, Bocklet again scored, this time from the left edge of the crease, to make it a 7-5 game heading for the fourth.

Then Belton scored 6 seconds into the fourth and Steve Waldeck tied it 20 seconds later. Shamel Bratton converted his third of the game to put Virginia back up 8-7. Stony Brook tied it again when Crowley scored on the run, shooting low from about 10 yards away.

The Seawolves had many opportunities throughout the game because Adam Rand did his part to help them dominate Virginia on faceoffs. They won 18 of 23 and outshot the Cavaliers 36-29, including 14-5 in the second quarter, when it scored two goals to start climbing back.

"It was just your classic, new kids on the block, trying to get settled down," Sowell said of the early deficit.

The older kids on the block, though, came through in the end.

"When you get to the playoffs, it's about being able to play again, and we get to play again," Starsia said. "I think at the end of the day, a game like this, being stretched like this against this team, will help us as we get ready to play our next opponent."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press