Men's Lacrosse Prepares for Hobart
May 7, 1998
About Today’s Game
Virginia (7-4 overall) faces Hobart (8-4 overall) today in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Divsion I Lacrosse Tournament at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst at approximately 3:00 p.m. This game is scheduled to begin 45 minutes after the conclusion of today’s first game between Duke and North Carolina scheduled for noon.
The Cavaliers are ranked sixth in the current USILA poll, down from fifth the previous week. They are the tournament’s sixth seed. Hobart is 12th in the current poll, down from 10th the week before.
On to the Quarterfinals
The winner of today’s contest faces third-seed Syracuse (10-2) next Saturday (May 16) in the second game at Hofstra.
The Series vs. the Statesmen
The Cavaliers have won all three meetings vs. Hobart, but this is the first meeting between the two in six years.
Hobart moved to Division I in 1994 and was a Division III member for the first three games in the series.
Two of the three games were remarkably close. Virginia gained an 11-9 win in 1987, and won 15-14 at home in 1992. The Cavaliers won the 1991 meeting by a 20-8 count in Charlottesville.
Four Common Opponents in 1998
Virginia and Hobart have faced four common foes this spring–Bucknell, Duke, Princeton and Syracuse.
The Cavaliers defeated Bucknell (27-5), Duke twice (12-11, 11-9) and Princeton (9-7) and lost to Syracuse (18-17 in overtime).
The Statesmen downed Bucknell (18-11) and lost to Duke (19-6), Princeton (13-9) and Syracuse (18-5).
Sixth Consecutive NCAA Tournament Bid
This is the sixth consecutive season Virginia has received an NCAA Tournament bid and the eighth bid in the last nine seasons.
The current streak of six bids is the second-longest NCAA Tournament streak in school history. The Cavaliers appeared in nine consecutive tournaments from 1978-86.
Cavaliers Making 22nd Tourney Appearance
Virginia’s bid to the 1998 NCAA Tournament is the 22nd tourney bid in school history, third-most in tournament history. Only Johns Hopkins (27) and Maryland (23) have received more bids than UVa.
The Cavaliers appeared in the first NCAA Tournament in 1971 (lost to Navy 9-6) and won the title in 1972. The 1972 championship is the only NCAA title in school history. The Cavaliers were also national champions in 1952 and 1970 before prior to the NCAA Tournament.
The Cavaliers’ all-time NCAA Tournament record, and the record under the tutelage of head coach Dom Starsia, by round is below.
Third Time as Sixth Seed
This is the third time the Cavaliers have been the tournament’s third seed since the field was expanded to 12 teams in 1987. Virginia was the sixth seed in 1990 and 1991.
Being the sixth seed wasn’t very good to the Cavaliers in those early ’90s contests as they dropped both games. Virginia fell to Rutgers 7-6 in the first round in 1990, and lost to Towson State 14-13 in the following year’s first round.
First First Round Game Since 1994
Virginia failed to receive a first round bye for the first time in four years this season. Overall this is Virginia’s sixth first round game in tournament history. The Cavaliers are 3-2 in first round game.
The Cavaliers have won their last two contests in the first round. Both victories came against Notre Dame–in 1993 (19-9) and 1994 (23-4).
The only other time Virginia played a first round game away from Charlottesville was a 10-9 double overtime win at Yale in 1988.
Third Toughest Schedule
Virginia has played the nation’s third-toughest schedule this season according to US Lacrosse’s Strength of Schedule rankings. North Carolina has faced the toughest schedule this season, followed by Maryland.
Virginia’s opponents have a combined record of 96-45 (.681). Duke and Maryland are included twice since the Cavaliers have played each twice.
Virginia is the only team in the country to play more than half of its games this season against teams with at least 10 wins–seven of 11. The Cavaliers’ seven games against teams with 10+ wins are tied with North Carolina for the national lead.
In the Power Ratings, Virginia is listed third behind Princeton and Maryland.
Five Return to Home State
Virginia’s roster features five players who hail from Massachusetts.
Senior co-captain David Wren is one of three Massachusetts natives to see significant playing time this season. He is from Sudbury and attended Lincoln-Sudbury High School.
Sophomore midfielder/defenseman Peter Ragosa is from Milton and attended Deerfield Academy.
Freshman midfielder David Jenkins is from Dedham and attended the Taft School.
Among the reserves from Massachusetts are Josh Bradstreet from Sudbury and St. Mark’s School and Doug Worthen from North Andover and Middlesex High School.
Finally Playing in Amherst
This is the Cavaliers’ second trip this season to Amherst, Mass. They travelled north to face the University of Massachusetts in a game scheduled for March 14. However, that game was cancelled due to snow and was not made up.
This is Virginia’s first game ever in Amherst. This is also the first time the Cavaliers have played in Massachusetts.
Two Cavaliers Named All-ACC
Drew Melchionni and Tucker Radebaugh were named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team this season. This is the first time either player has been so honored.
Melchionni, a senior from Garden City, N.Y., has been a mainstay in the midfield throughout his career. He is third on the team with 19 goals this season and was a preseason All-American.
Radebaugh, a junior from Glen Arm, Md., is one of the nation’s most versatile players who excells in both midfield and the attack. He is among the leaders in the ACC with 46 points and 25 goals.
Five Named to All-ACC Tourney Team
Virginia placed five players on the All-ACC Tournament team recently–attackmen Jay Jalbert, Drew McKnight and Tucker Radebaugh, midfielder Drew Melchionni and defenseman Ryan Curtis.
Tournament champion Maryland led the way with six players, including tournament MVP Scott Hochstadt. Duke and North Carolina each had one player named to the team.
With a team that features only seven seniors and underclassmen as the top-three scorers, it is not surprising that only six Cavaliers have ever scored a goal in an NCAA Tournament game.
Junior Tucker Radebaugh leads the team with four NCAA Tournament goals. He is followed closely by David Wren’s three. Michael Leahy and Henry Oakey have two career tournament goals each, while David Baruch and Drew Melchionni have scored one goal.
Radebaugh also leads the Cavaliers with three assists in the tournament; all three came in the quarterfinal loss to Maryland a year ago. Melchionni, Oakey and Wren have two assists and Jamie Leachman one.
Among the goalies, Chris Sanderson has started four NCAA Tournament games in his career. He has 44 saves and allowed 39 goals. Matt D’Urso and Hannon Wright have seen limited tournament action as reserves.
Seniors Drew Melchionni, David Wren and Karl Zeller have appeared in a team-leading six NCAA Tournament games in their careers.
Jalbert Tops 20 Goals for First Time
Sophmore Jay Jalbert had some large shoes to fill this season in replacing Doug Knight and Michael Watson on the Virginia attack.
He has found the net 10 times in the last three contests, including seven in two ACC Tournament games, and now has a team-leading 28 goals. He also has fed 13 assists, a career high.
Jalbert’s five goals against North Carolina on April 4 is a career high and ties Jamie Leachmand and Drew McKnight for the team high this season.
McKnight Expected to Return to Action
Sophomore attack Drew McKnight suffered a separated right shoulder at the 9:55 mark of the second quarter against Maryland in the finals of the ACC Tournament on April 19. He did not return against the Terps and sat out the Bucknell game six days later.
He is expected to be able to play in the first round game against Hobart this afternoon.
McKnight leads the team (and is 10th nationally) with 22 assists this season. He is fourth on the team with 16 goals.
He scored a career-high five goals to highlight Virginia’s 11-9 win over Duke in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament.
Holding the Opposition to Single Digits
Virginia has had remarkable success this season when holding the opposition to fewer than 10 goals, winning all six games.
That contrasts to a 1-4 mark when the other team scores as least 10 goals. The 12-11 win over Duke on April 11 is the only time this season the Cavaliers have won when allowed 10 or more goals.
The Cavaliers have won 24 consecutive contests (dating back to 1995) when they allow less than 10 goals.
Radebaugh Scores Once in Last Three
Tucker Radebaugh is Virginia’s leading scorer this season with 25 goals and 46 points. He is also second on the team with 21 assists.
He has scored at least two goals in every game but four this season, and finds himself in the midst of a goal-scoring drought. He was held goal-less in the ACC Tournament by Duke and Maryland and scored one goal in limited action in a 27-5 win over Bucknell in the last game.
In the ACC Tournament semifinal win over Duke he was held scoreless for the first time since the VMI game last season, a span of 15 games.
He didn’t score a goal, but did have two assists, vs. Maryland in the finals.
Radebaugh scored a career-high four goals this season against Mercyhurst, Princeton, North Carolina and the first game against Duke.
Radebaugh Closing in on Century Mark
Attack Tucker Radebaugh leads the team in total points (46) this season. He ranks second in both goals (25) and assists (21).
The junior from Glen Arm, Md., is the leading active Cavalier in career goals (59) and is second in career assists (39).
With 98 career points, he needs just two more points to reach 100 for his career.
Sluggish After Halftime
The Cavaliers have led at halftime in eight games this season (all but the loss to Johns Hopkins and both losses to Maryland). But they have had some trouble maintaining the intensity in the third quarter, which has been most evident in three recent contests (against Duke and Maryland).
In the game against Duke on April 11, the Cavaliers held a 9-5 advantage at the break, but the Blue Devils out-scored Virginia 5-0 in the third period to take the lead. The homestanding Wahoos turned the tables on the visitors from Durham by out-scoring the Blue Devils 3-0 in the final 15 minutes to gain the win.
The situation was the same in the ACC Tournament win over Duke less than a week later. The Cavaliers led at halftime 7-6, but were out-scored by the Blue Devils 2-0 in the third quarter. Virginia came alive in the fourth quarter (again) as Drew McKnight tallied two goals in the first two minutes to give the Cavaliers the lead for good. Jay Jalbert pushed Virginia’s lead to two goals less than four minutes in and Hanley Holcomb added an insurance goal (his first) for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers and Maryland were tied at six at halftime of the ACC Tournament finals, but the Terps out-scored Virginia 5-2 in the third quarter to take the lead for good. Maryland pushed the lead to five goals in the fourth quarter as Virginia could get no closer than two goals after midway through the third quarter.
Falling on Hard Times
Sophomore face-off specialist Jason Hard won 61.8 percent (176 of 285) of his face-offs last season and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Rookie of the Year.
His winning percentage last season was the best by a Cavalier since Gabby Roe won 62.7 percent of his face-offs in 1990.
This season hasn’t been as fruitful for Hard, who has won less than half of his face-offs. As a team Virginia has won just 45.7 percent of its face-offs. Hard has won just 41.7 percent (88 of 211).
Freshman David Jenkins has the best winning percentage on the team at 59.3 percent (35 of 59).
Virginia has won the face-off battle just three times this season–against Mercyhurst, North Carolina and Bucknell.
Three First-Timers on Defense
Everybody knows the Virginia offense would assume a different look this season with the loss of Doug Knight and Michael Watson from the attack. But the defense also sports a few new faces this season due to the loss of Darren Mahoney and Tommy Smith.
Providing the protection for goalie Chris Sanderson this season are sophomore Ryan Curtis, junior Doug Davies and senior Penn Leachman, who are all seeing the most significant action of their careers this season as starters.
Curtis is typically assigned to the opponent’s top scorer, while Davies is the crease defenseman. Leachman, whose 41 ground balls lead the defense, is the third defenseman.
Karl Zeller, a three-year starter on defense, and rookie John Harvey provide support as reserves.