Just when it looked like Virginia was going to lose another close game Saturday night, Mark Cockerton came to the rescue and the Cavaliers should be solidly in the NCAA Tournament because of it.
Cockerton led the Cavaliers with four goals and three assists to help push No. 10 UVa past the No. 6 North Carolina Tar Heels in the inaugural ACC Showcase Saturday night, 13-11, inside PPL Park. The win moved Virginia to 10-5 overall.
“That was a very important victory for us,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia. “It’s been a tough grind for us the past couple of weeks, and we needed this one badly. We may have been a playoff team even if we didn’t win tonight, but now we have a little more confidence and momentum going forward after getting the win. As the game was going on not knowing whether or not we were going to win, I thought to myself a moral victory is going to be of no consequence right now. We need to win this game. I’m very glad we found a way to do it.”
Virginia trailed 8-5 at halftime before a furious second half comeback.
The Wahoos went on a 5-1 run that carried over from the second quarter to tie things at 9-9.
North Carolina 11-10 after three but then never found nylon for the remainder of the evening.
Cockerton found Pannell with 11:07 left in the game, tying the contest at 11-11. Then Cockerton assisted his third goal when he hit Tyler German with 6:05 left in the game. For good measure Cockerton capped the win with an empty-net goal with 1:07 left, sealing the victory.
UVa will now enjoy a bye week before the NCAA Tournament.