May 17, 2009

Wahoos Whack Hopkins, Return to Final Four

from staff reports

Billings, Stanwick Exemplify UVA's Unselfishness

Sophomore Shamel Bratton looks to move the ball Sunday during his five-goal performance, leading Virginia to a 19-8 blowout win over Johns Hopkins in the first NCAA quarterfinal Sunday in Annapolis.

© Kevin P. Tucker

ANNAPOLIS, MD-- Shamel Bratton scored a career-high five goals to lead a potent Virginia Cavalier squad to a 19-8 win over Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship before a crowd of 12,142 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this afternoon.

Virginia improves to 15-2 this season and fifth in a row over Johns Hopkins. The Cavaliers face Cornell, a 6-4 winner over Princeton yesterday, in one national semifinal next Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. This is their second consecutive appearance in the national semifinals and fourth in the last five seasons.  

The win is the 300th of Virginia head coach Dom Starsia's career as he became only the third coach in Division I history to win 300 games. He is tied with former UMass coach Dick Garber for third all-time. 

The loss is the biggest for the Blue Jays in NCAA Championship play, who saw their season end with a 10-5 record.  

Senior Garrett Billings, who scored four goals in a 1-goal win over the Blue Jays earlier this season, scored four times and had three assists, while freshman Steele Stanwick scored two goals and assisted on five more.  In two playoff games Stanwick has tallied 12 points (5g, 7a).

Adam Ghitelman was outstanding between the pipes with 14 saves in 53 minutes of action to highlight a dominating performance by the Cavalier defense.

Brian Christopher scored on the game's first shot with just over a minute gone to give the Blue Jays a quick 1-0 lead. The Blue Jays controlled most of the action for the next four minutes but Ghitelman recorded saves on four of their next five shots to prevent Johns Hopkins from extending its lead.

Rhamel Bratton drew the Cavaliers even at one with a low bounce shot that deflected off the foot of Blue Jay goalie Mike Gvozden.

Following a Blue Jay turnover, Danny Glading scored his first goal of the afternoon 31 seconds later to give the Cavaliers a 2-1 advantage.

The Cavalier onslaught continued as an ability to win faceoffs-Chad Gaudet won three of the next four-and force turnovers enabled the Cavaliers to take control midway through the first quarter. Rhamel Bratton scored his second of the quarter at the 5:50 mark with a very difficult no-angle shot from the left side and Shamel Bratton followed 32 seconds later with his first marker of the game.

Stanwick assisted on two Billings goals over a 28-second span as the Virginia lead ballooned to 6-1 with fewer than three minutes remaining in the quarter. During the 6-goal run Virginia scored on six of 10 shots, while the defense forced three Blue Jay turnovers and did not allow a shot.

As in the first period, the Blue Jays scored first early in the second quarter as Michael Kimmel rifled a shot past Ghitelman from 10 yards out. Billings extended UVa's lead to 7-2 20 seconds later by cutting to the crease and taking a feed from Glading to easily beat Gvozden for his third goal of the afternoon.

Christopher scored his second goal of the half at the 12:30 mark, but similar to the first quarter the Cavaliers ripped off the next five goals to build a 12-3 lead 45 seconds before halftime. Shamel Bratton scored twice during the run, while Stanwick, Glading and John Haldy all found the back of the net. In the first half Virginia scored on 12 of 26 shots.

Johns Hopkins capitalized on a Virginia turnover in the final 30 seconds and used Kyle Wharton's goal five seconds before halftime as UVa took a 12-4 lead into the locker room at the break.

Virginia wasted little time pushing its lead to double digits as Shamel Bratton, Billings and Gavin Gill scored on consecutive shots in the opening two-and-a-half minutes of the second half as the lead grew to 15-4.

The next 10 minutes passed with no scoring until Shamel Bratton scored his fifth of the game with 2:17 remaining in the quarter. Blue Jay midfielder Mark Bryan closed the third quarter scoring with his only goal of the game with just over a minute to play.

Gill and Stanwick scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter as Virginia built an 18-5 lead with six minutes to play. The Blue Jays outscored Virginia 3-1 in the final two minutes to close the scoring.

"We certainly never expected the game to quite play out like that," said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia after the game. "I thought they carried the play in the early going. We were very relentless in our approach. We talked before the game about winning the ground ball battle decisively, we thought that was going to be a key element and I thought we really never gave that away today.

"We've had very good focus in practice the last couple weeks. You can never know how that is going to manifest itself, but today it did. It was a little bit unexpected against a team like the Jays. I am really proud of my team. We've been through a lot this year and this is just another part of this adventure, so hopefully we can keep it going."

Johns Hopkins    1-3-1-3-8    record: 10-5
Virginia    6-6-4-3-19    record: 15-2
Att- 12,142 (Third-largest quarterfinal crowd in NCAA history)


Scoring (G-A)- JH: Michael Kimmel 2-2, Brian Christopher 2-0, Mark Bryan 1-0, Matt Dolente 1-0, Josh Peck 1-0, Kyle Wharton 1-0, Matt Drenan 0-1, Tom Palasek 0-1, Austin Walker 0-1.  UVa: Shamel Bratton 5-0, Garrett Billings 4-3, Steele Stanwick 2-5, Danny Glading 2-1, Rhamel Bratton 2-0, Gavin Gill 2-0, Colin Briggs 1-0, John Haldy 1-0, Brian Carroll 0-1, Chad Gaudet 0-1.

Goalie Summary- JH: Mike Gvozden 57:45 mins., 14 saves, 18 goals allowed; Steven Burke 2:15, 0 svs., 1 GA. UVa: Adam Ghitelman 53:10 mins., 14 saves, 5 goals allowed; Mark Wade 6:50, 0 svs., 3 GA.

Shots: JH -33, UVa -47
Ground Balls: JH -33, UVa -27
Clearing: JH -16x25, UVa -21x27
Faceoffs: JH -17, UVa -13
Penalties: JH -3-2:00, UVa -none
EMO: JH -0x0, UVa -1x3

 


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