CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Steele Stanwick scored two goals and dished out five assists as the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers (2-0) won its home opener for the fifth- straight year, defeating the VMI Keydets (0-3) on Tuesday evening, 19-5, inside Klöckner Stadium. Virginia now owns a 19-0 all-time record against its in-state opponent.
“I thought we played hard and were sharper with the ball,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia. “It was really the first time we were able to do that since we started in January. It was certainly nice to get guys off the bench and on the field in a game situation. As a team, it helped us quite a bit. As we move forward, we understand that we will have to communicate better. This game is a great step forward.”
Drew Leonard put VMI up just 1:05 into the game on a pass from Keith Long. UVa tied the game at 8:17 in the first quarter on Stanwick’s first goal, unassisted. The senior’s score started a 6-0 run which was capped by a Chris Bocklet goal with 22 seconds to go in the first.
Virginia proceeded to put the game away courtesy of a 12-2 run, which included 10- straight goals, capped by Matt Cockerton’s first goal of the year on Carl Walrath’s first collegiate assist at the 5:18 mark in the third quarter. Matt Cockerton scored two goals and his brother, Mark, added three scores. The Cockerton brothers have now each scored goals in the same game three times. In 2011, they both scored against Mount St. Mary’s (Feb. 22) and VMI (Feb. 28).
Virginia won the battle in shots (43-27) and ground balls (37-30), while VMI took the faceoff battle (20-8). UVa was a perfect 20-of-20 on clears, while VMI was 12-of-17. Longstick midfield Chris Clements had four caused turnovers, two ground balls and scored his first career goal with a pole and it was his first goal since Feb. 21, 2009 at Stony Brook.
Seven Cavaliers made their collegiate debut against VMI (Carl Walrath, Austin Geisler, Davi Sacco, Taylor Michel, Tanner Ottenbreit, Albert Kammler and Rhody Heller).
Stanwick led all scorers with seven points after being held scoreless for only the fourth time in his career at Drexel on Saturday.
“I don’t think it mattered a great deal to him that he didn’t score in the last game,” said Starsia. “I think he was ready to play tonight and we’re always going to take our cue from him. With him flying around on offense the way he is, it triggers us on offense in every way.”
Virginia concludes its homestand on Saturday when the Stony Brook Seawolves come to Charlottesville. The contest will faceoff at noon and will be broadcast on ESPN3. Virginia 6-8-4-1-19