Virginia outclasses Terps

Towson's Rubeor scores four as Cavaliers show Maryland why they're No. 1

Virginia 15 Maryland 5


COLLEGE PARK -- It was homecoming for Virginia attackman Ben Rubeor, and he put on quite a show. So did his Cavaliers teammates.

In one of the college lacrosse season's most highly anticipated matchups, No. 1 Virginia scored nine first-half goals and went on to a 15-5 rout of No. 3 Maryland yesterday before 6,103 at Byrd Stadium.

Rubeor, a sophomore from Towson, scored four goals, including two in the first five minutes of the game. He blew past Maryland sophomore defenseman Joe Cinosky outside the box for a goal with 9:34 left in the first quarter, then scored again when Terps goalie Harry Alford got caught outside the crease for an empty-net goal nearly two minutes later.

Rubeor's second goal made it 5-0, and the rest was history. Virginia (10-0) is off to its best start in school history, and the Cavaliers ended Maryland's three-game winning streak.

"Coming home is always fun, and that makes it a big game," Rubeor said. "But any game is big for this team, especially when you play a quality team like Maryland. I had my family and a couple of buddies I went to school with come down to see the game. It was good. It was a great game."

Maryland coach Dave Cottle didn't think so, and it's not good news for the rest of lacrosse. If the Cavaliers can tear apart Johns Hopkins and Maryland (6-2) on back-to-back weekends, who is left to knock them off?

Maryland's best hope of winning yesterday was to have defensemen Cinosky, Ray Megill and Steve Whittenberg stalemate with Cavaliers attackmen Rubeor, Matt Ward and Danny Glading. But the Terps couldn't stop the trio, or slow Virginia midfielders Matt Poskay and Drew Thompson, who along with Glading and Ward had two goals each.

Thompson scored 15 seconds into the game. Poskay scored 61 seconds later.

"I thought we made some mistakes early, they took advantage of them and the game kind of got out of whack," Cottle said. "We weren't going to win a 15-4 game. When they had nine goals in the first half, I knew we were in trouble. We kind of got stuck and tried to shoot our way out of trouble."

The Terps aren't great shooters in the first place, and they made Virginia goalie Kip Turner (15 saves) look unbeatable with some poor shots that lacked velocity and precision. Maryland outshot Virginia 46-37, but most of the Terps' shots were out of desperation.

While Turner played well and the Terps made him look even better, Alford struggled, but he also faced a lot of shots from point-blank range. Cottle changed goalies in the third quarter, but it made no difference. By then, Virginia was slowing the ball down on offense, working on situations for future games.

"We can play harder and smarter," Rubeor said. "Every game you're going to have mistakes, and you're going to have to work on them. We'll look back on this game and see where we messed up, and try to correct it."

Virginia coach Dom Starsia said: "I really didn't see this coming. In all honesty, I apologized to the team before the game because I didn't think I prepared them as well as I should have because we had some distractions.

"Maryland had some chances early, Kip stoned them, we capitalized on the other end and it started steamrolling. We played well today, but I have a veteran group. They know it's meaningless to be No. 1 on April 1. Everything has to happen in May."

Cottle was taking the same approach. The Terps might get at least one more shot at the Cavaliers in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Maryland has to find a way to counter Virginia's athleticism and speed.

"We got a good group of kids," Cottle said. "We're going to get better."

Virginia 5 4 5 1 -- 15

Maryland 1 0 2 2 -- 5

Goals: Virginia--Rubeor 4, Glading 2, Thompson 2, Billings 2, Poskay 2, Ward 2, Morrissey. Maryland--M. Ritz 2, X. Ritz 2, McGlone. Assists: Virginia--Glading, Thompson, Morrissey, Dixon, Garrison, Gilbert, Riley. Maryland: M. Ritz 2, Healy, Tamberrino, Walters. Saves: Virginia--Turner 15, Petit 6. Maryland--Alford 12, Carter 3.

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