No. 2 Virginia charges back to beat No. 13 Cornell, 11-9

Cavaliers appear tired early but control second half to get Face-Off Classic win

March 12, 2011|By Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun

No. 2 Virginia rallied with four straight goals during a 10-minute stretch that began late in the third quarter and continued early in the fourth to defeat No. 13 Cornell, 11-9, Saturday in the second game of the Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Big Red (3-2) had led most of the game, and four times went ahead by two goals before the Cavaliers (6-1) went on their run. All four of Virginia's goals came from the midfield during the comeback, one each from Colin Briggs, Rob Emery, and brothers Rhamel and Shamel Bratton.

Rhamel Bratton's goal, with 11 minutes and nine seconds left in the game, put Virginia ahead, 8-7, and Shamel Bratton's goal, converted while falling, gave Virginia its first two-goal cushion of the game at 9-7 with 9:58 remaining.

Cornell pulled within one nearly 90 seconds later on a goal from attackman Rob Pannell, who finished with four for the game, but Virginia scored twice in the next six minutes to put the game away.

"We weren't particularly sharp," Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. "There was not a lot of magic in the air offensively for us, but we worked hard."

It was Virginia's seventh game in three weeks. The Cavaliers looked tired early, but took control in the third quarter when they won five-of-six face-offs. Cornell didn't help itself with six penalties for five minutes, all of those in the second half, which led to two Virginia goals.

"We've got to get back on the practice field, rest up and get ready for the rest of the season," said Starsia. "It was kind of one-sided in time of possession in the first half, but it kind of evened out in the second. "

Cornell coach Ben DeLuca said: "We showed some bright spots, but we definitely shot ourselves in the foot. We fouled too much, lost our discipline. The game turned in the third quarter when they started picking up those ground balls and creating some opportunities."

Cornell led, 5-4, at the half, but the Big Red controlled the tempo in the first two periods. Cornell outshot Virginia, 25-17, in the half, and 15-8, in the second period. The Big Red, though, could never take advantage of any momentum.

Pannell scored the game's first goal by beating Virginia defenseman Matt Lovejoy from behind goal nearly 90 seconds into the game, but Virginia midfielder Chris LaPierre tied the game at 1-1 with a runner down the right ally with 10:49 remaining in the period.

After goals from Pannell and midfielder David Lau put the Big Red ahead, 3-1, with 2:23 left in the quarter, Rhamel Bratton scored on a 30-foot shot off a reverse pivot from up top to pull the Cavaliers within 3-2, with 1:59 seconds left.

The Cavaliers scored the first goal of the second quarter, this time off a runner by Briggs, nearly four minutes into the period, but didn't take another shot for almost seven minutes.

Cornell's midfield dominated the rest of the period, but Briggs scored with 1:54 left to pull Virginia within 5-4 at the half. Virginia got a big game from goalie Adam Ghitelman, who finished with 13 saves, but a lot were high-percentage shots, especially in the first half.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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