Virginia's Chris Bocklet (10) and Colin Briggs (34) celebrate… (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore…)
COLLEGE PARK — — Maryland rebounded from a slow start and took a two-goal lead early in the third quarter of Saturday's game against Virginia. But Steele Stanwick helped bring the Cavaliers back.
Stanwick sparked a Virginia rally that saw the Cavaliers score seven of the game's final eight goals. The senior matched a career high with eight points as No. 2 Virginia pulled away late for a 12-8 victory over No. 11 Maryland before an announced crowd of 6,445 at Byrd Stadium.
Stanwick finished with three goals and five assists in the Atlantic Coast Conference game. The Baltimore native and Loyola grad had two goals and three assists during Virginia's 7-1, which spanned a stretch of 15 minutes, 29 seconds during the third and fourth quarters. The Cavaliers didn't even score in the game's final 5:45.
"We want to be patient but aggressive at the same time," Stanwick said. "So we just kind of pick and choose our battles in the fourth quarter. For the most part, it worked out for us."
The two biggest plays came early in the fourth quarter with Virginia (9-1, 1-0) clinging to a 9-8 lead. First, Stanwick made a pass to Matt White, who made a quick move near the crease and scored with 8:20 left.
Stanwick then scored a highlight-reel goal 46 seconds later. He got caught in a double-team on the edge of the crease, the was knocked down but still managed to fire a shot past Maryland goalie Niko Amato for an 11-8 lead.
The Cavaliers added one more goal, and Maryland finished with just one in the final 25:24. Virginia scored five goals in the fourth quarter in a rematch of the 2011 NCAA title game.
"You just can't give that offense a lot of chances," Maryland coach John Tillman said. "I think, for awhile in the third quarter, we had a good tempo going. Stanwick stepped up and made some plays that only he can make. Hats off to him; he's a terrific player."
Maryland (5-3, 1-2) appeared to be taking charge when goals from Joe Cummings (two goals, one assist) and Michael Shakespeare (two goals) gave it a 7-5 lead with 10:24 left in the third period. That finished a three-goal run in which the Terrapins held Virginia to one goal in just under 20 minutes. Amato even got his second career assist during that stretch.
But Virginia then went to work. Coach Dom Starsia talked at halftime about the importance of possession and getting ground balls, a kind of grind-it-out strategy.
The Cavaliers listened to him and held a 19-8 edge over Maryland in ground balls in the second half. They were able to keep the ball longer and find good shots, plus scoring chances.
"I think we wore them down a little bit … in the second half," Starsia said. "That probably made a difference."
Maryland had to play without midfielder Kevin Cooper (suspension after the fight in last week's loss to North Carolina) and midfielder Mike Chanenchuk played mostly on extra-man opportunities after being slowed with an undisclosed injury.
The Terrapins stayed close until Stanwick and the Cavaliers took over late. Virginia goalie Rob Fortunato made six of his 15 saves in the fourth quarter. Chris Bocklet (three goals, one assist), Colin Briggs (two goals, one assist) plus Rob Emery and White (two goals apiece) helped the Cavaliers. But Stanwick's play truly sparked Virginia.
"He's a really good player," Amato said. "He's just kind of the quarterback of their offense — a smart, cerebral player."