UVa’s Steele Stanwick posted 2 goals and 5 assists.
Virginia’s quest for back-to-back National Championships ended in a back-and-forth battle with Notre Dame on Sunday. The Fighting Irish men’s lacrosse team rolled off four late goals to break an 8-8 tie and then hold off a final Cavalier push to win 12-10 in Philadelphia.
The loss left UVa with a 12-4 final record in its title defense season.
Sunday’s setback also closed the career of UVa’s seniors. Steele Stanwick, the 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy winner and 2012 Tewaaraton finalist, posted 2 goals and 5 assists in his final game in the orange and blue. He posted 70+ points in his final two seasons to finish as Virginia’s No. 1 all-time points player, taking over the top spot from Hoo legend Doug Knight. Stanwick and Kevin Pehlke are the only two Cavaliers in the history of the program to register 100+ goals and 100+ assists in a career. He ranks No. 18 in NCAA history for career points.
“I don’t think I could have picked a better spot, or a better school, or a greater group of guys and coaches,” Stanwick told the Richmond-Times Dispatch. “I wouldn’t have changed one thing about my career.”
As has been the case for much of their time at UVa, one of Stanwick’s assists against Notre Dame found Chris Bocklet. The senior scored twice against the Irish to finish his career with 137 goals, good enough for fifth all time at Virginia. The Hoos also picked up 2 goals from senior Colin Briggs and 2 more from sophomore Rob Emery.
Still, that wasn’t enough to overcome a resilient effort from Notre Dame, which jumped out of the gates with a 2-0 lead. The Cavaliers rallied and took their only lead at 4-3 but ND led 6-4 at the half. The Irish then fought off Cavalier rallies that tied the score at 6-6, 7-7, and 8-8 before the final four-goal flourish proved too much for the Hoos to overcome a 12-8 margin.
“Great credit to Notre Dame for a hard-fought win,” UVa men’s lacrosse coach Dom Starsia said in a news release. “They certainly deserved to win today. I thought they played really well and I thought it was a really good lacrosse game on both sides. It kind of epitomized our season in a lot of different ways. We were just a little bit off – we had opportunities to get goals and take a lead and we just couldn’t get the ball in.”