- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 26, 2008

No. 3 Virginia 11, No. 5 Maryland 8

CHARLOTTESVILLE — When Virginia’s Garrett Billings was held without a point last week against Dartmouth, coach Dom Starsia made it clear the Cavaliers needed some sort of production from the junior attackman.

After a four-goal outburst in the first half last night, Billings and third-seeded Virginia are back in the ACC tournament final.

Both Billings and Ben Rubeor — two of the Cavaliers’ banged up attackmen — scored four goals as Virginia upended second-seeded Maryland 11-8 before 3,507 at Klockner Stadium.

The Cavaliers (12-2) will meet top-seeded Duke (14-1) in tomorrow’s title game after receiving solid play from goalie Bud Petit (eight saves) and faceoff man Garett Ince (12-for-20 to deny the Terrapins (8-5) a fast start.

Yet it was Billings who ignited Virginia’s quick start — and prevented the Cavaliers from falling behind in much the same fashion as in last month’s 13-7 loss at Maryland.

“I had to think about how I played all week,” Billings said. “I felt I had to come out in the first quarter and assert myself a little bit more.”

And so he did, keeping Maryland from ever taking a lead. Billings wasn’t hurt by an early matchup with a short stick midfielder, and he also showed few of the effects of a back injury that hampered him recently.

Billings’ pain was exacerbated by lingering injuries to Rubeor (knee) and Danny Glading (hamstring), prompting Starsia to meet with him earlier this week.

“He was zero and zero in the Dartmouth game and he just looked horrible,” Starsia said. “I said ‘I know you’re hurt. You have to figure out a way to play through it. You can’t just give into it.’ You could see a change in practice this week. It was his best week in a while. I don’t know if he’s feeling any better, but I think he’s more determined to get something done for us.”

Billings’ fast start helped Virginia build a 6-3 halftime lead. The Terps closed within 7-5 with consecutive goals in the third quarter, but Shamel Bratton and Rubeor scored within a minute late in the period to keep Maryland at a distance.

“I felt if we could have gotten to one goal, we would have had a chance,” Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. “We just didn’t get to one goal.”

It was hardly a bad performance for Maryland, which could not replicate the early game magic that defined its upset of the then-No. 1 Cavaliers on March 29. In turn, Maryland did not enjoy the luxury of slowing the pace of the game on offense and dropping into a zone on defense.

But they weren’t sloppy, committing only 10 turnovers while botching just two clears. Toss in effective extra-man (2-for-3) and man-down (0-for-3) performances and Maryland didn’t beat itself — a requirement for an extended run in the NCAA tournament.

No. 1 Duke 17, No. 9 North Carolina 6

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Zack Greer scored four goals and Matt Danowski had two goals and four assists as the top-seeded Blue Devils (14-1) scored 11 of the final 12 goals to rout the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (8-5) in the ACC tournament semifinals.

North Carolina, which has not won a conference tournament game since 1996, lost its 18th straight game against ACC opponents.

Colgate 12, No. 16 Navy 9

WEST POINT, N.Y. — Brandon Corp scored five goals as the Raiders (10-4) dealt a crushing blow to the NCAA tournament hopes of the Midshipmen (9-5).

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