(Photo Courtesy of Virginia Athletics)
While there won’t be any exciting Easter Sunday matchups in college lacrosse this season, fans have been treated to multiple exciting Easter Sunday matchups in the past, including multiple premier Big Ten contests over the past few seasons.
But perhaps no Easter Sunday contest has been as exciting as Virginia’s 13-12 overtime victory over Johns Hopkins to capture the Doyle Smith Cup in 2016.
If you remember, 2016 was the final year of Dom Starsia’s tenure at Virginia and was in the middle of their ACC losing streak, which was finally broken in 2018. Also, it was the third of four consecutive overtime contest between the Cavaliers and the Blue Jays during the regular season.
Coming into the game, Johns Hopkins was ranked 8th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 7th in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. They were also coming off of an 11-10 overtime win against rival Syracuse at home the week prior. Virginia was not ranked in either poll and was coming off an 8-7 overtime loss against then No. 2 Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., losing on that signature Sergio Perkovic rip from the top of the restraining box that still haunts Virginia fans to this day.
Off a feed from Shack Stanwick, Wilkins Dismuke got the party started early for Hopkins. The Blue Jays soon found themselves up 4-0 late in the first quarter. However, a James Pannell goal late in the first was just the spark the Cavaliers needed to get going.
Virginia scored six straight, including two from Greg Coholan, to get 4-5 with 5:12 in the second. A John Crawley goal just seconds later tied left the game tied at 6-6 heading into the half.
The third quarter is really where the back-and-forth nature that many remember this for really got started. The Blue Jays and Cavaliers just continued to answer each other early in the third, and even though Hopkins ended the quarter scoring three goals within a minute, things remained tied at 8-8 heading into the fourth.
No team was ever able to gain an upper hand in the fourth quarter, as every goal continued to be answered by one from the opposing team. Cody Radziewicz took advantage of a short stick matchup behind the cage, turned on the jets, and scored just a few steps above GLE to put the Blue Jays in front 12-11 with 2:41 in the fourth.
And while it looked like their defense was able to hold the Cavaliers, AJ Fish was able to find a wide-open Greg Coholan, who proceeded to bury one past Brock Turnbaugh with just 20 seconds left in regulation to net himself a hat trick and force overtime.
The Cavaliers only needed 19 seconds of overtime before Mike D’Amario was able to take advantage of an unsettled situation, getting underneath a short stick defender, and scoring a diving goal in front of the cage to secure the overtime victory for the Cavaliers.