The defending NCAA DI Champs, the Virginia Cavaliers (12-3) showed why they are Champions with a authoritative 17-10 defeat of the (10-6) Brown Bears.
Kevin M. Neibauer.
LaxPhilly– A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network.
The Virginia Cavaliers ventured into Stevenson-Pincine Field in Providence, Rhode Island to face the 8th ranked, Brown Bears.
An unruly Brown contingent of fans were far from welcoming visitors from the South.
“This defined what lacrosse should be about…enemy territory, hostile environment, being booed and just being the man in the arena ” Virginia Coach, Lars Tiffany put into words the emotion of the game.
Let’s Get to It:
The white hot, Connor Shellenberger (4g,4a) jumpstarted his career day with goals at 14:13 followed by Xander Dickson getting the helper for his 30th at 12:21. The Bears laughed it off and raised the ante with Ryan Aughavin setting up Devon McLane for his first of the season and third of his career. Jack Kelly (1a) hit a streaking, Griffin King (1g,1a) to even the score. Ryan Behrens (1g) kept the Brown rush going with an unassisted marker at 2:54. Virginia Face off specialist, Petey LaSalla cleanly won the ensuing draw and took it to house just :04 later but, Brian Antonelli (2g) buried a George Pike (1a) to close the quarter.
“Credit to their face off guy for keeping the pressure on. Look at the stat sheet, their guys, the dudes made their plays” Brown Coach, Mike Daly was very complimentary.
End of First: 4-3 in favor of Brown.
Virginia opened the second on a three goal flurry with Shellenberger nabbing his hat trick, Payton Cornier (5g) putting a Shellenberger feed in the bank, Long Pole, Scott Bower (1g) potting his first. Brown rolled up their sleeves and answered with Trevor Glavin (1g) putting home his 8th, Ryan Aughavin (1g, 2 apples) followed by Reid Moshyed (1g) to put up a three goal countering from the Bears. Jeff Conner (2 helpers) set up Cormier’s 45th to end the thrilling half.
At the Half, a 7-7 game.
Things About to Change:
Shellenberger hit net at 14:23 with help from Conner. Long pole, Ben Water made it three in row. Adrian Enchill (1g) commented by an Nolen Rockefeller (1g) net bender, got it tied again. At that point, the bottom fell in on Brown. Xander Dickson, Jack Peele (1g), Cornier potting his 46th with :59 remaining with Matt Moore (2g,2a) joined the party with :14 showing.
End of 45:00 with Virginia large and in charge, 13-9.
To the Final Stanza:
The Cavs run picked right back up with four more markers to make it 8 in a row. Cormier with a pair at 14:29 and 10:48, Matt Moore posting his 25th with Shellenberger capping his eight point game by doing the work for Xander Dickson. Brown had one final hurrah when Antonelli out in his 33rd to end the Brown season.
From the Coach:
“The men sitting next to me [Cormier and Shellenberger] and the men back in the locker room – I’m very fortunate to have. Not only supremely talented men, but men who really care and are passionate. When you get to the NCAA Tournament, the experience matters. It really does. The idea that there is no guarantee for tomorrow. And we were just desperate, hungry to not be disbanded – to not let this end … I’m fortunate to be surrounded here by Payton [Cormier] and Connor [Shellenberger] and men back in the locker room who appreciate and came to Virginia so they could be in these type of high-stakes high-pressure situations. And we performed under that pressure at a high-level tonight.” Cavs Coach, Lars Tiffany
News and Notes:
• Shellenberger tied his career in points to match his eight point game vs. John’s Hopkins on March 5th.
• The win gives the Cavs nine consecutive NCAA touney wins and improves their tournament record to 57-33.
• I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the unsung here for Virginia. Freshman netminder, Matthew Nunes turned aside 16 Brown shots that included 5 in the opening quarter and 8 in the first half.
• Petey LaSalla becomes the All Time ground ball leader for Virginia with his 12 scoops. LaSalla not only scored a goal but won 19 of 30 draws for a .633 winning percentage. Virginia had a huge ground ball advantage at 32-20. Connor Theriault knocked aside 9 Cavs shots.
Virginia Moves On.
Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.