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Keith Stegmaier: Virginia Slams Denver

The new attack driven Virginia offense kept rolling today in a 14-8 win.

Virginia shooters had a field day. Almost every possession, play was started from behind the cage, and the Denver D looked slow. In addition to some late slides, there were multiple times Denver defensemen got hung on the topside.
Coach Starsia explained his game plan afterward, “We were going to try to attack Denver from behind and use an attackman on the first midfield spot to take it behind the goal.”
The Virginia offense has played lights out over the past three games. They put up 13 on Bucknell, 13 against Cornell, and now 14 against Denver. In today’s game eight different players scored for UVA, and three players (Stanwick, Cockerton, and Bocklet), all put up 3 goals.

On the other side of the field, Denver’s shooting woes were apparent from their first possession. A shot right in to UVA goalie Adam Ghitelman’s stick. It was a day of weak or poor placed shots for Denver, making Ghitelman’s day a lot easier. The times he was tested, he made the hard saves (10 saves, 8Goals against). Such as Denver’s Demopolous getting a one on one and trying to go 5-hole. Ghitelman showed it then closed it off making a beautiful save.

UVA Finally got its EMO unit going. Coming into the NCAA tournament UVA led the nation converting on 53% of their chances. Against Bucknell and Cornell, UVA was 0 for 3. Today, UVA was credited for scoring 3 on 6 chances.
Denver got called for many blatant penalties including a shot to the head, hitting after the whistle, and tripping amongst others. All in all, Denver got called for 5 penalties (4 of them unreleasable). Speaking of the refs…
Virginia seemed to be on permanent stall warning throughout the game as the refs were quick to call it. Virginia didn’t really start to “slow” until late in the second quarter when they were up 8-2.

Denver coach Bill Tierney summed up his teams efforts today, “The doubters were out there and unfortunately, with the way we played, there will be some out there tomorrow.”

All is not lost for Denver, as Jeremy Noble looked great all over the field. He had 3 goals, 1 assist, 6GBs, and is only a Freshman. Goalie Jamie Faus is also a Freshman, and even though he got shelled today (8 saves, 14 goals against) he has showed some promise throughout the tournament. Denver has some young talent, and with more success year after year, will only get more competative.

Congrats to UVA. The Wahoos seem to be clicking on all cylinders and will be very hard to beat in Monday’s all ACC Championship game.

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