Jordan McBride was speaking for himself, but really, he could've been speaking for the entire 2010 Stony Brook University men's lacrosse team when he said with a forced chuckle, "I just wanted another shot. That's it."
When Virginia goalie Adam Ghitelman of Cold Spring Harbor turned aside McBride's left-angle blast with 28 seconds left, it all but clinched the top-ranked, top-seeded Cavaliers' 10-9 NCAA Tournament quarterfinal victory over the eighth-seeded Seawolves Sunday before a record SRO crowd of 10,024 at LaValle Stadium.
Virginia (16-1) joins Duke, Notre Dame and Cornell - which beat Army, 14-5, in yesterday's opener at LaValle - in the Final Four next weekend in Baltimore. The semifinal matchups on Saturday are Cornell vs. Notre Dame at 4 p.m. and Duke vs. Virginia at 6:30 p.m.
Stony Brook - which came back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the score at 5-5, 7-7 and 8-8 against Virginia - finished 13-4. "That's one shot I definitely want back," said McBride, a 48-goal scorer who was held to one assist. "I didn't know how much was left on the clock."
McBride probably had more time to maneuver a little closer or perhaps spot Kevin Crowley (two goals, one assist) open in the middle. "He ended up forcing it just a little," said Ghitelman, who had several spectacular saves among his 13 stops. "It came quick. I wasn't expecting it, but I had a good angle."
Virginia played all the angles well early, with Shamel Bratton of Huntington scoring two first-period goals and freshman Connor English of Manhasset scoring 2:34 into the second period to make it 5-1. For a moment, the plug had been pulled on the electricity that filled the air.
"A packed house, the emotion, the atmosphere, I was concerned how we would handle that," SBU coach Rick Sowell said. "It was the classic 'new kids on the block.' But after that, you saw that we were in it for the long haul. We weren't intimidated."
Timmy Trenkle of Commack and Kyle Belton got the crowd back into it with goals less than two minutes apart, and Stony Brook trailed 5-3 at halftime.
"We have confidence in our offense and we started hitting our shots," said Crowley, who tied the score at 5 with 5:30 left in the third period, equaling Kevin Pall's school record for goals in a season with his 50th. That was one of several moments when LaValle Stadium erupted with bursts of exuberant noise that seemed to lift the team.
"You could feel the vibrations. It definitely helped us," said defenseman Steven Waldeck, who tied the score at 7 just 26 seconds into the fourth quarter on a crowd-pleasing reverse spin move. That goal came 20 seconds after Belton's second goal.
Bratton's third goal untied it, but Crowley got the school record when he made it 8-8 with 5:36 left. The place was rocking. Virginia's Chris Bocklet (three goals, two assists) made it 9-8 only 15 seconds later, though, and he fed Colin Briggs for what turned out to be the game-winner with 3:45 left. But Tom Compitello of Hauppauge managed to slip inside to make it 10-9 with 2:11 left, and LaValle was loud to the finish.