#9 Virginia Nips #5 North Carolina in OT Thriller

Rhamel Bratton came up with a big play to start the fourth quarter. While Standing in front of the crease he intercepted Wood's pass from behind the goal, and sprinted the length of the field, dodged right and then came left with the unassisted goal at 12:49 in the fourth quarter. The score pushed UVa's lead back to two goals, 8-6.

The goal was part of a 3-1 UVa run as the Cavaliers took a 10-7 lead. Nick O'Reilly capped the streak with an unassisted goal with 6:53 left in the game. UNC scored three straight goals, including the Wood score to tie the game, setting the stage for Stanwick's second overtime game-winning goal of the year.

Briggs led UVa with his five points and three goals, while Bocklet, Rhamel Bratton and Stanwick all had two goals. Ghitelman saved 15 shots, matching his previous season best from the Syracuse game.

UNC outshot UVa (42-34), won the ground ball battle (38-33) and had less turnovers (11-17), however the Cavaliers won the faceoff battle, 12-11.

“We had a really hard week of practice,” said Starsia. “We had a lot of work to do to prepare for this game, and right from the beginning we came out and started playing hard. I never thought the game was over until it was finally over. Against teams like [North] Carolina and any team in our conference, you have to play to the very end. It turned out to be a great lacrosse game and we are happy to get the win. A loss here doesn't devastate our season but confidence is a precious commodity for college kids and coaches too. We have some guys who have never had two losses in a row in their career here and we were reeling a little so it's important that we got the win today.”

Virginia is back in action next Saturday, concluding ACC play at Duke. The game will be televised on ESPNU with a faceoff time slated for noon.

North Carolina returns home on Thursday when Presbyterian comes to Chapel Hill. Faceoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.

[Box score appears at the end of this post.]

* * * *

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. - Steele Stanwick scored an unassisted goal with 46 seconds left in overtime to lift the ninth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers to an 11-10 victory over eighth-ranked North Carolina in men's lacrosse action at Klockner Stadium before a crowd of 4,598 fans.

The ending blunted an amazing comeback by the Tar Heels who scored three times in the final 3:14 of play to force overtime in a game in which Carolina never led.

UNC has now lost back-to-back one-goal heartbreakers to Johns Hopkins and Virginia and is now 7-4 on the season and 1-2 in the ACC. Virginia saw its two-game losing streak end as the Cavaliers are now 8-3 and 1-1 in the ACC.

Virginia appeared to be in command, leading 10-7 with less than four minutes to play but the Tar Heels forced a turnover by Rhamel Bratton and got back-to-back goals by long-stick midfielder Mark Staines to pull within a single goal with 3:01 left to play.

Virginia gained possession after that but Bratton missed a shot on an open goal and the Heels gained possession and called timeout with 1:35 to play. Carolina worked the ball around before Thomas Wood's goal with 5.6 seconds to play forced overtime, UNC's first overtime game since beating Johns Hopkins 10-9 on March 28, 2009.

Freshman R.G. Keenan won the ensuing face-off to give the Tar Heels possession in the overtime but Jimmy Dunster had a shot go wide and then a shot blocked and the Cavaliers were able to gain possession to set up for a final shot.

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