The Virginia Cavaliers are the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Champions.
The Cavs shook off a slow start and took control of the title game against their ACC foe Maryland Terrapins in the second quarter. The teams would go back and forth, but Virginia would not trail again, ultimately pulling away in the fourth quarter to win the game 9-7.
Colin Briggs led the Cavaliers with four goals while Matt White added thee in the win. Team star Steele Stanwick only mustered an assist on the day, but his teammates picked up the slack for him while he was shadowed by Maryland defenders.
This is Virginia’s fifth national title and their fourth since 1999. It might just be the title they appreciate the most, given a tough season and the many off-the-field issues they’ve had to persevere against.
Down two goals, Maryland kicked off the fourth quarter with a critical goal from senior defender Brian Farrell. Farrell ran the length of the field on a fast-break and scored a diving beauty while being pushed right in front of the goal. At the 13:06 mark, the Maryland crowd was awake and the moment was shifting.
That was never more apparent than two minutes later when Maryland went on the fast break again and once again scored, this time courtesy of Ryan Young. With the score tied 6-6 and 11:43 remaining on the clock, it was officially anyone’s game again.
Then Matt White took a Nick O’Reilly feed and put Virginia right back on top, 7-6, at 10:03. The Cavs sliced the Terps defense and caught them in a failed slide, leaving White wide open for the easy score.
White then did it again, earning a hat trick with a blazing shot from the left side to make it 8-6 at 5:29. The assist came from Steele Stanwick, his first point on the day.
The Cavs closed things down with Colin Brigg’s fourth goal on the day, a bounce-pass score that made it 9-6 with two minutes left. Maryland added a courtesy goal with :16 left but it was too little, too late.
The celebration begins now over at Streaking The Lawn.