Matt White & Nick O'Reilly combined for 15 points vs. UNC
The Virginia men's lacrosse team lost 16-13 against top-ranked North Carolina in the ACC Championship game Sunday in Chapel Hill.
The defeat officially eliminates UVA (7-8) from NCAA Tournament consideration, as teams must have a record of .500 or better to advance to the postseason.
The 'Hoos will miss out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004, and just the second time since Dom Starsia took over as head coach in 1993.
Junior Nick O'Reilly says, "We all knew what was at stake. It was discussed. It's hard to deal with. We made plays, it was kind of back and forth. I'm not really sure what it was about their offense. They have good players, and they made good plays."
"It's always frustrating when the season ends, and you don't win," says senior Matt White. "I think we left a lot of good lacrosse out there. It's a bummer."
Head coach Dom Starsia adds, "I did tell them in the locker room I hope future teams of ours distinguish themselves the way this team did. That they play with the same kind of dignity, and work the same way, and the other things will take care of themselves."
Virginia jumped out to a 5-3 lead against UNC in the first quarter of the title game, and the match was tied 7-7 with 5:25 remaining in the first half, but the Tar Heels went on a five goal run to take a 12-7 lead in the third quarter.
UVA cut the deficit to 14-12 with back-to-back goals by White with 8:45 remaining, but could not come all the way back.
"I like playing lacrosse, and I wanted to keep playing lacrosse," says White. "I like playing for UVA. I love playing for UVA."
"I've said it 1,000 times, in this sport, you go where your seniors take you," adds Starsia. "We happened not to have a lot of them this year, but the ones that we had were really doing a nice job, and it's great that Matt could step up in the end and almost carry us through."
White had seven goals in his final game at Virginia, while O'Reilly had a goal and seven assists.
"My teammates found me, and put me in good positions," says White.
White's seven goals are a career high, and ties the record for the most in the championship game record.
His 10 goals during the tournament set a new mark in the ACC.
O'Reilly's assist total is also a career high, and breaks the conference title game record.
Junior Mark Cockerton had three goals and two assists.
North Carolina was paced by Davey Emala and his four goals.
The Tar Heels were 3-of-4 on their extra man opportunities, while UVA was 0-for-5.