Notre Dame beats Virginia in NCAA lax quarterfinals

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Notre Dame beats Virginia in NCAA lax quarterfinals

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) -- The biggest priority for Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan was to keep his team composed, as Irish player Ryan Foley was down on the PPL Park turf, not knowing where he was, or what just happened to him.

So the Irish retaliated to the hard mid-fourth quarter hit on Foley with six goals in handing defending national champion Virginia a 12-10 loss Sunday in the NCAA men's lacrosse quarterfinals.

The No. 4-seeded Irish advance to the semifinals against No.1-seed Loyola (Md.) next Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. It marked the first time Notre Dame beat Virginia (12-4) in four tries in the NCAA tournament -- and a return for Notre Dame to the Final Four. It lost to Duke in the 2010 national championship game.

Max Pfeifer led the way for the Irish with three goals, followed by two goals each from Steve Murphy and Sean Rogers.

With 7:41 to play, the game took a scary turn after Foley scored to give Notre Dame (13-2) a 9-8 lead. Virginia's Scott McWilliams lowered his left shoulder and slammed into Foley's chin right after the goal. After being down for about five minutes, Foley had to be taken off the field on a stretcher.

The Notre Dame sideline erupted after the hit, then erupted for three straight goals to take a commanding 12-8 lead with 1:36 left to play.

"I think at that time we were pretty hot-headed, but then we kind of refocused our energy and decided to beat them on the scoreboard," Murphy said. "We decided to send them home and thought that would actually be a bigger slap in the face than actually going back and retaliating back on the field."

Foley, Corrigan said, is OK, but was taken to a local hospital where he underwent tests and further observation. Corrigan also said Foley, "didn't know he was on the field, but he didn't want to come off. I'm not sure he even knew he was in Philadelphia."

Virginia coach Dom Starsia credited Notre Dame's fortitude.

"On the play Foley got hurt, we played defense for the longest time and there was a few times when we thought we'd get the ball, and (Foley) makes a great play at the end," Starsia said. "They just kept coming at us and coming at us, and there were chances for them to crack during that game. Give credit to Notre Dame."

Irish goalie John Kemp finished with 14 saves, nine in the second half when Virginia turned up the pressure.

Though goals from Matt White and Virginia star Steele Stanwick enabled the Cavaliers to get within 12-10 with less than a minute to play, Notre Dame won the ensuing faceoff and drained the remaining time.

The loss marked the last game for Virginia's Stanwick, who finished as the school's all-time leading scorer. He had a goal and four assists Sunday.

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

In his first game with the Virginia Tech Hokies, Jerod Evans will be leading the team as the starting quarterback, head coach Justin Fuente announced on Thursday. The quarterback competition started as a two-man race between Evans and fifth-year senior Brenden Motley before a late surge by true freshman Josh Jackson turned it into a three-way battle. In the end, however, the decision was no surprise.

Evans, a junior transfer, began his college career at Air Force in 2013. He transferred to Trinity Valley Community College where he developed into a dynamic talent. In 2015, Evans threw for 395.5 yards per game and 38 touchdowns in just eight games before a wrist injury ended his season.

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Rated as the No. 1 dual-threat JUCO quarterback in the country, Evans was recruited by Fuente while he was still at Memphis and chose to follow the head coach to Blacksburg.

New coaches are rarely afforded the opportunity of starting their own recruit in their first season at a new school. Given that and the high potential of Evans as a playmaker, it was ultimately no surprise to hear Fuente peg him as the starter.

The announcement came with one caveat, however. Evans was named the starter specifically for the opener against Liberty, but not beyond that. Granted, Evans would have to play pretty poorly to force Fuente into switching starters the week before the Battle at Bristol against Tennessee, but an opener against an FCS team should allow for Fuente to play multiple quarterbacks. If Motley outplays Evans, perhaps it could reignite the quarterback battle.

Even so, Thursday's announcement shows the starting job is now Evans to lose.

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Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

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USA TODAY Sports

Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

When Virginia opens the season on Sept. 3 against Richmond, they will have a new quarterback starting under center. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall named junior transfer Kurt Benkert the starting quarterback on Wednesday morning over seniors Matt Johns and Connor Brewer, according to multiple reports.

Benkert was expected to start for ECU just last season, but a knee injury in preseason forced him to miss the entire year. He is considered the most mobile of the three, which given Mendenhall's history with dual-threat quarterbacks, likely was a major factor in the head coach's decision.

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As a junior, Benkert was the only candidate with two years of eligibility remaining, a prospect hat reportedly "intrigued" Mendenhall. If Benkert is able to hold on to the position and start next season as well, it would represent a measure of stability Virginia has not known for quite some time.

What likely helped Benkert was the fact that his head coach at ECU, Ruffin McNeill, is now an assistant as UVa. By coming into a school with an offensive system Benkert was familiar with, it eliminated the learning curve most transfers go through with their new teams.

Benkert will replace Johns who was the team's starter last season and co-starter the season before. The fact that the competition was a three-man race at this point in the summer despite Johns' experience was a clear indication that his ability to win back the starting job was in clear jeopardy.

In addition, Mendenhall also announced Johns and Brewer were still competing for the backup role.

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Virginia Tech reveals uniforms for Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee

Virginia Tech reveals uniforms for Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee

A big-time game deserves a big-time uniform.

Virginia Tech delivered on that claim aturday as they revealed their look for the upcoming Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee.

The Sept. 20 non-conference game between the border rivals will be played in the infield of Bristol International Speedway in is what expected to be the largest crowd in college football history.

The official reveal was made via a video posted on YouTube:

Other views of the uniforms were also posted on Twitter:

The famous Hokie Stone was the inspiration for the look. The Hokies Stone is a type of rock found in Western Virginia almost exclusively in a nearby quarry owned by the school. It has become an iconic symbol of the school as several building on campus were built from the stone. Players will tap a Hokie Stone that hangs over the tunnel as they enter Lane Stadium during the football season.

The uniform's primary color scheme of black and grey pays homage to the team's history as those were the official colors of Virginia Tech before the school adopted the classic burnt orange and Chicago maroon we recognize today. The color grey was also chosen because it is a prominent color of the Corps of Cadets, according to a statement on the school's athletics website.

And boy do they look sharp. What do you think? Be sure to let us know!

The Battle at Bristol against Tennessee will take place on Sept. 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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