Behind a career-high effort by Colin Briggs, who scored five goals, the Virginia Cavaliers are the 2011 NCAA MEN'S LACROSSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!! Today's national championship marks the fifth in program history since the NCAA took on men's lacrosse back in 1971 and the first since the Hoos' undefeated season back in 2006. The 7th-seeded Cavaliers are the lowest seed to have ever won the championship.
"I haven't had a chance to absorb all this, but this is certainly a very very special moment," head coach Dom Starsia said. "This is a team I would have been very proud of even if they had not won this season, but the fact that we were able to come back, and even when they tied it. That sort of epitomized the whole season for us."
"We only do this if we do this together. As a group," Starsia said to the players before the game.
And that's exactly what they did. In an offense where you'd expect attackmen Chris Bocklet and Steele Stanwick to produce most of the points, neither made a splash. Bocklet had no goals and no assists to his name, while Tewaaraton Trophy finalist Stanwick had only one point in an assist. He finished the tournament with 21 points, just one point shy of breaking the Virginia record for most points in an NCAA Tournament, previously held by Matt Ward, set in 2006 at 22.
It was a slow start for the Hoos, who were unable to get on the board at all during the first quarter. Briggs got things rolling with a goal just over two minutes into the second quarter. After three unanswered goals and a couple more back and forth, it was the Cavaliers who were up at the half, 5-3.
The Terrapins would eventually tie the game at six in the second half, but a pair of goals by Matt White would give Virginia a lead they would not give up again. When Briggs scored his fifth goal and the Cavaliers' ninth, it was just icing on the cake. White finished the day with a hat trick.
With the win, senior goalie Adam Ghitelman picked up his 50th career win and now stands alone in third place in the NCAA all-time DI wins list, behind Syracuse's John Galloway (55) and Princeton's Scott Bacigalupo (51).
What a season for this squad of talented, industrious, and beloved Cavaliers! To go from one of the overwhelming favorites to win it all to what some deemed a "disastrous" season, and to come back and win it all in the end. Well, Hoos fans everywhere are familiar with the roller coaster ride that is Virginia sports.
Congratulations to Dom Starsia, the seniors, and everyone that can call themselves part of the Virginia Lacrosse family for bringing home yet another national championship!