Cavaliers Topple Terps

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Ben Rubeor racked up 5 goals and 1 assist against Maryland.

Virginia coach Dom Starsia expected a close game against Maryland and that’s exactly what he got during the first half of Saturday afternoon’s showdown against the 10th-ranked Terrapins. But the third-ranked Cavaliers scored three goals in the first four minutes of the third quarter and built a comfortable lead en route to a 12-8 victory in front of a crowd of 5,048 on a breezy day at Klockner Stadium.

“I was a little surprised,” Starsia said of Virginia’s second half run. “I was really pleased with how we came out of the locker room to start the second half. We created some transition and just sunk some shots. We started to gain some confidence on the offensive end of the field, in particular. Our offense got kind of a hungry look on the sidelines. Against a team like Maryland, if you get 12 or 13 goals, you have to be happy about that.”

As has become the norm, junior Ben Rubeor was Virginia’s leading scorer on Saturday as the junior attacker notched five goals and one assist. Fellow attackers Garrett Billings and Danny Glading added two goals apiece while Jack Riley, Ryan Kelly , and Brian Carroll all scored one. Billings led the Cavaliers in assists with three.

Maryland and Virginia combined for seven goals in the first quarter as both squads played at a higher tempo than what was expected in a battle between two strong defensive teams. Maryland took a 1-0 lead in the third minute of play on a goal by Bryn Holmes. Less than a minute later, Rubeor spun around a defender and fired on an open net to even the score.

Later in the quarter, Rubeor scored two straight unassisted goals to give Virginia a 4-3 lead. The Cavaliers would not trail thereafter although Maryland would tie game early in the second quarter.

“They beat us one-on-one a couple of times and got some good shots off,” junior midfielder Will Barrow said. “I think we were kind of asleep a little bit in the beginning.”

But Virginia’s defense stiffened, starting midway through the second quarter. After yielding 13 shots to Maryland in the first 15 minutes, the Cavaliers allowed seven, eight, and six shots respectively in each following quarters.

Virginia took the lead for good with 6:49 remaining before halftime when Rubeor scored after receiving a pass from Carroll while the Cavaliers were in a man-advantage situation due to a bench misconduct penalty called on Maryland. Less than two minutes later, Glading extended Virginia’s lead when he curled around the back of the net and slipped a shot past Maryland’s keeper.

It was at the start of the second half, however, that Virginia seized control of the game. Riley scored his eighth goal of the season off an assist from Rubeor with 12:35 remaining in the third quarter. Shortly thereafter, Billings picked up a loose ball right in front of the net and took advantage of the opportunity to give the Cavaliers a four-goal advantage.

But Virginia was not done yet. Just more than half a minute after Billings scored, the sophomore fired a pass from behind the net to Rubeor up top. Rubeor then rifled a high-velocity shot into the back of the net to cap off a 5-0 Virginia run that started with Rubeor’s goal in the second quarter.

“I thought we started finishing some of our opportunities,” Rubeor said. “I thought [Maryland goalie Brian Phipps] played great in the first half. He stopped some great takes that I thought we had. I thought we were just a little bit sharper in the second half and the defense clamped down.”

Senior goalkeeper Kip Turner recorded 11 saves for Virginia. Two of Maryland’s eight goals came in the final two minutes of the game, after Turner had been replaced by Bud Petit between the pipes.

Today’s match was Virginia’s first this season against an ACC opponent. The Cavaliers host North Carolina next Saturday and travel to Duke on April 14.

“It’s very important,” Rubeor said of ACC play. “You have to capitalize on the few games that you have and we did that today. We got started on the right foot.”

Before Virginia can turn its focus to the Tar Heels, however, it first must prepare for Binghamton on Tuesday. Faceoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Klockner.

“To be honest, we haven’t looked at them too much,” Rubeor said. “I’m sure that we’ll be watching film on them tomorrow. Really when we have these quick turnaround games, we concentrate on getting ourselves ready, preparing and making sure that we’re playing our best lacrosse because it is tough to really know everything that another team is doing.”

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