May 29, 1999
Virginia and Syracuse Battle for National Title: The Cavaliers go up against Syracuse for the NCAA title on Monday. The two teams kicked off the 1999 season when Syracuse gained a 14-12 win at the Carrier Dome. Virginia comes into the championship game with a 12-3 record, while Syracuse is 12-4.
This is the second year in a row the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament. Syracuse posted a come-from-behind 17-14 win over Virginia in the quarterfinals last season.
This is the third time the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament in College Park. The Cavaliers gained a dramatic 15-14 overtime win over the Orangemen in the 1994 semifinals, but Syracuse pulled even with a 20-13 semifinal win the following year. Overall the Orangemen hold a 6-5 lead in the series and have won the last four meetings.
Starting and Ending the Season: This is the second year in a row that Virginia has started and ended its season against Syracuse. These games havent been the best for the Cavaliers, as they have lost the last three meetings. Syracuse opened last season with an 18-17 win over Virginia and then gained a 17-14 quarterfinal win in the NCAA Tournament. The Orangemen opened this season with a 17-14 win over Virginia.
Virginia in the Finals: This is the Cavaliers’ sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament finals. They are 1-4 overall in championship games. The lone win came in 1972 when Virginia defeated Johns Hopkins 13-12. Virginia lost to Johns Hopkins 9-8 in double overtime in 1980; North Carolina 10-9 in overtime in 1986; Princeton 9-8 in overtime in 1994 and to Princeton 13-12 in overtime in 1996. So when you look at it, Virginia is undefeated in regulation finals, but 0-4 in overtime finals.
College Park Streak Ends: Virginia’s 16-11 semifinal win over Johns Hopkins on Saturday snapped a two-game losing streak in NCAA Tournament games in College Park. Overall, Virginia is 3-5 in NCAA Tournament games in College Park. Virginias lone NCAA Championship was at Byrd Stadium in 1972 when the Cavaliers defeated Johns Hopkins 13-12.
Freshmen Spur Cavaliers in Semifinals: Virginia got big performances from two freshmen in the semifinals against Johns Hopkins. Attackman Conor Gill scored five goals in the first quarter as Virginia jumped out to a 9-3 lead. The five goals tied his career high (he also scored five goals vs. Rutgers and Delaware). Gill also tied his own school record for most goals in a quarter (vs. Rutgers). Gill has 21 goals and 27 assists for 48 points this season. He is second on the team in scoring behind Tucker Radebaugh (71). Gill is the first Cavalier to score five goals in an NCAA Tournament game since Jay Jalbert scored five vs. Hobart last season.
Goalie Derek Kenney recorded a career-high 18 saves against Johns Hopkins, topping his previous high of 13 vs. Syracuse and Delaware. Kenney has 130 saves this season. Kenney has a chance to join an exclusive group of UVa goalies. Rodney Rullman led UVA to the national title as a freshman in 1972.
Radebaugh Now Sixth All Time: Attackman Tucker Radebaugh scored two goals in the semifinals vs. Johns Hopkins on Saturday to raise his career total to 105 goals. He is now sixth in school history, and needs two to tie Tom Duquette for fifth place. Radebaugh is eighth in career points at Virginia with 179 (105g, 74a).
Head Coach Dom Starsia: Dom Starsia is in his seventh season at the helm of the Virginia program with a 78-24 record. In 17 seasons as a head coach (including 10 years at Brown), Starsia is 179-73 overall. Starsias NCAA Tournament record at Virginia is 9-6. He has led UVa to two finals (both losses) in 1994 and 1996.
Losing the Battle, Winning the War: Virginia has lost three games this season, but in a curious twist the Cavaliers have been able to gain a measure of revenge. The Cavaliers lost to Duke 10-9 in overtime to end the regular season, but Virginia made the Blue Devils pay with an 8-7 win over Duke in the finals of the ACC Tournament. Johns Hopkins downed Virginia 16-15 in the regular season, but Virginia gained a 16-11 win over the Blue Jays in the semifinals on Saturday. The Cavaliers could complete the trifecta with a win over Syracuse in the finals. Syracuse defeated Virginia 14-12 in the season opener.