Notre Dame beats Virginia in NCAA lax quarterfinals


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.

Jerod Evans sharp again as Virginia Tech beats Miami, 37-16

Jerod Evans sharp again as Virginia Tech beats Miami, 37-16

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Jerod Evans threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third and Virginia Tech beat Miami 37-16 on Thursday night.

Evans hit Bucky Hodges with scoring throws of 7 and 12 yards, and Travon McMillian ran for 131 yards for the Hokies (5-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who kept pace with Coastal Division-leading North Carolina in the chase for a spot in the ACC title game.

Brad Kaaya threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns for the Hurricanes (4-3, 1-3), but he also was sacked eight times as they lost their third in a row.

The Hokies limited Miami to 42 rushing yards on 29 carries thanks to the sacks, which cost Kaaya 55 yards.

Woody Baron had three of the sacks for Virginia Tech, and fullback Sam Rogers threw his first career touchdown pass in the third quarter.


Miami: The Hurricanes have never won the Coastal Division since joining the ACC in 2004 and won't win it again this year. Their defense was supposed to be a question entering the game, and they were without three starters and had four freshmen in the starting lineup, but their inability to generate a running game put all the pressure on Kaaya, and while he put up some good numbers, an offensive line that allowed eight sacks isn't good enough to win most games against top level teams.

Virginia Tech: Evans was virtually mistake-free again, and their plethora of weapons in the pass game seems to be opening up the running game as well. Evans added 98 rushing yards, including a 34-yard score, as the Hokies piled up 253 yards on the ground. On defense, apart from last weekend's stunning loss at Syracuse, the Hokies have allowed only 36 points in their last four non-Syracuse games.


Miami visits Notre Dame next Saturday. The Fighting Irish are off this weekend, and have lost four of their last five.

Virginia Tech plays its second consecutive Thursday night game when it visits Pittsburgh, which is off this weekend.

Heisman Hopefuls: Does Donnel Pumphrey have a real chance?


Heisman Hopefuls: Does Donnel Pumphrey have a real chance?

San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey is the nation's leading rusher. In just six games, he already registered 1,111 rushing yards for an average of 185.17 yards per game.

What's more, he has been consistently great in his career and he now ranks 10th overall in career rushing yards among FBS players.

So does the Aztec running back have a realistic chance of winning the Heisman?

No, next question.


Sorry to be blunt about it, but the answer is no. The reason? Competition.

The level of competition seems to matter more to Heisman voters than the stats. That makes it very hard for players of non-power conference teams to even rank among the finalists.

Take Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds who was not even given an invite to New York last year despite his historic season last year. If you need more evidence that stats don't matter, how about Christian McCaffrey? McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders' record for all-purpose yards last season and still came in second in the Heisman ballots to Derrick Henry.

That's not to say that Henry wasn't deserving, he had a phenomenal season, but statistically he came nowhere near McCaffrey.

The question you must ask yourself is what would Pumphrey's numbers look like if he was playing against SEC teams every week? Would he still be having the same kind of season?

That's an impossible question to answer and an unfair one to ask. The fact is, Pumphrey is running all over Division 1 athletes. He's been phenomenal and would do much better if he was placed on the roster of a SEC or a Big Ten team than many may think. I certainly think he is deserving, but I don't vote for the Heisman.

Based on recent history, when the finalists gather in New York, Pumphrey will very likely not be among them.

Who will? Find out here in the updated Heisman Hopefuls.