Mark Cockerton scored four goals and Rob Emery added three, as the Virginia Cavaliers ended their six-games losing streak on Saturday afternoon, winning 12-7 over Bellarmine.
UVa hadn't won since March 5, before the Cavaliers matched the program’s longest slide since a string of setbacks that transpired over the 1965 and 1966 seasons. The six losses in a row also matched the most in season since losing all eight games during the 1939 season.
Virginia’s five-goal win is the largest margin of victory any team has had over Bellarmine this season, and UVa’s 12 goals are the most given up by the Knights and goalie Dillon Ward, who entered the game as the nation’s leader in save percentage.
Cockerton started things for the Cavaliers with a goal at the 9:42 mark to give UVa the early 1-0 lead. Bellarmine then scored twice, ending the first period with a 2-1 advantage, its only lead of the game.
Virginia outscored Bellarmine 3-1 in the second frame to enter intermission with a 4-3 lead. Bobby Hill started things with a goal on a Nick O’Reilly pass with 11:00 on the clock. Emery found nylon the other two times in the period for UVa, including capping the game’s first half scoring with 35 seconds left.
The third quarter was silent until the 6:37 marker when Bellarmine’s Michael Ward scored to tie the game, 4-4. Virginia answered back with goals by Owen Van Arsdale and Cockerton, giving UVa the 6-4 lead. Ward scored again at 2:59 to cut the Knights’ deficit back down to one goal, 6-5. Cockerton ripped a goal from about 15-yards and then Emery dodged off a swim move through two defenders to cap the third quarter scoring with three seconds left.
Virginia entered the final stanza with a three-goal lead, 8-5, but Bellarmine got to within two goals, 8-6, when Cameron Gardner scored with 13:36. The Knights never got closer as UVa reeled off four goals in a row by Cockerton, Van Arsdale, James Pannell and Charlie Streep. After Streep scored with 4:29 left, UVa held a 12-6 advantage and then proceeded to empty its bench. Luke Acton of Bellarmine scored with 1:21 to finish the game’s scoring, as UVa held onto the 12-7 triumph.
Virginia returns to action on Friday in the semifinal round of the ACC Championship. The 4th-seeded Cavaliers will face the top-seeded Maryland Terrapins at 5 p.m., inside North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium.