#1 Virginia Defeats Notre Dame in NCAA First Round

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The top-ranked Virginia men's lacrosse team scored the first three goals of the game and fought off a tough Notre Dame squad with a 14-10 win in the first round of the NCAA Championships this afternoon before a crowd of 3876 at Klöckner Stadium.

The win is the Cavaliers' 14th in a row, a school record, as they remain the only undefeated team in the country. They advance to the quarterfinals next week at Towson University against tomorrow's Navy at Georgetown winner. Notre Dame, making its first NCAA tournament appearance in five seasons, finishes its season at 10-5.

"I told our team in the huddle after the game that that was a heck of a win for us and I was very pleased," said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. "That was a real battle out there and we are very pleased to get the win and still be playing at this time of the year. That was a heck of an effort by Notre Dame. I was really pleased with our kids. I don't think things were ever easy for us but I think we battled throughout the game."

Matt Ward, playing with a broken hand, led the way with a game-high four goals. He also added an assist. Midfielder Kyle Dixon scored a season-high three goals to become only the fourth midfielder in Atlantic Coast Conference history to score 50 career goals and record 50 career assists; he now has 51 goals and 53 assists. ACC Freshman of the Year Danny Glading scored twice and had a game-high three assists.

Ward scored the first two goals of the game to get the homestanding Cavaliers off to a quick start. The lead grew to 3-0 as freshman midfielder Steve Giannone scored from 12 yards out off a nice pass from Glading.

Notre Dame got on the board late in the first quarter following a Virginia penalty as Brian Hubschmann scored on the extra man with 53 seconds left in the first quarter.

Dixon scored his first goal of the game 28 seconds into the second quarter, but the Fighting Irish rallied with three unanswered goals to knot the score at 4-all. Peter Christman started the run with his only goal of the game at the 10:53 mark. Notre Dame maintained possession for most of the quarter, but was unable to score until getting back-to-back goals from Bill Liva and Hubschmann 15 seconds apart with less than five minutes to go before halftime.

Glading broke the tie, the first the Cavaliers had faced in five games, as he caught the defense napping and beat goalie Joey Kemp on a wraparound from the right side with 2:40 remaining. Glading's roommate, Garrett Billings, scored a nifty fastbreak goal 42 seconds later to push Virginia's lead to 6-4. Matt Poskay extending his streak to 19 games with a goal to close the first half scoring with 31 seconds left as the Cavaliers took a 7-4 lead at halftime.

Dixon and Ward opened the second half scoring as Virginia's lead grew to five goals (9-4) with less than four minutes elapsed.

"I thought there was a chance in the third quarter that we were going to put them away and (goalie Joey Kemp) seemed like he would come up with the big save whenever he had to and they battled back again," said Starsia.

Kemp recorded seven of his 20 saves in the third quarter to keep things close. Ryan Hoff scored goals 59 seconds apart as the Irish fought to cut the margin to three goals at 9-6. But once again the Cavaliers responded as Dixon, Glading and Drew Thompson scored as UVa build a six-goal advantage.

Irish senior Matt Karweck scored late in the third quarter as Virginia took a 12-7 lead into the final 15 minutes.

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2006-05-13



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